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More fishermen-friendly approach needed in India: Expert

Kochi

08-January-2020

Fisheries expert John Kurien on Wednesday called the need for a more fisherman-friendly approach which includes apt housing, inclusion of the subject in the Constitution's concurrent lists, fishing zones should be earmarked and their expertise be utilised in the wake of climate change phenomenon.

Kurien made his suggestions while taking part in the ongoing third international marine symposium held at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here.

A former faculty at the Centre for Development Studies in the state capital and presently visiting professor at the Azim Premji University, Bangaluru, he said that the fishers should be given land for housing on the right side of the coastal road, 200 metres from the sea, and the rehabilitation should never be in such a way that harms their livelihood.

"Many of the coastal villages are increasingly reeling under severe sea erosion and the fishermen community deserves a secure dwelling place, but a sea wall has never become an ideal solution.

"At the same time, the attempts to move fishing community into faraway places from the coastal belt should be avoided, as this will definitely affect their livelihood," he added.

"Marine fisheries should be moved into concurrent list of the Constitution by ensuring enough room for consultation between the centre and states. This would help uniform regulations in the sector. Cooperative federalism in regulation and management of territorial sea would be ideal," said Kurien.

Touching upon the ecosystem destruction and overfishing, Kurien said "that internal waters and territorial sea within 12 nautical miles should be free from trawling, pursue-seining and corporate fishing. These waters should be exclusive zone for small-scale fishing".

He further said that fishermen should be given the right of the first sale of the fish caught by them.

"Against the backdrop of the climate change, the traditional knowledge of the coastal people should be utilised for identifying the indications of ecosystem changes due to climatic reasons. The scientific community should come forward to integrate this knowledge in their scientific studies," added Kurien.IANS