Kollam: Coinciding with the International Fisheries Day on Thursday, the fishing community under the Kerala Swathanthra Matsyathozhilali Federation (KSMTF) organised a massive rally from Vadi junction to the Kollam collectorate.
They later staged a sit-in at the entrance of the collectorate raising various demands.
"The demand by the coastal dwellers to provide them with title deeds for the land they live in remains unaddressed despite several pleas and protests," T. Peter, general secretary of National Fishworkers Forum, said after inaugurating the protest.
"The government should immediately intervene to rectify the issues of the community including preventing unscientific and destructive fishing practises by larger vessels."
The KSMTF also demanded the authorities to ensure time-bound distribution of kerosene subsidy and debt relief fund.
The fishermen demanded the coastal and marine governance rights be solely given to the community without inappropriate government intervention.
They also raise their apprehensions over the mariculture policy and Marine Fisheries Regulation and Management Bill 2019 of the Union government affecting the community's rights over the sea and even restricting their freedom to fish.The fisher folks allege the small-scale and traditional fishermen will lose their livelihood with the restricted fishing areas when the bill comes into force.
The new norms will also make it mandatory for fishing vessels to seek permission from the Center to go beyond 12 nautical miles from the shore for fishing, they observed.
Being members of the unorganised sector, the fishermen are also affected with the implementation of the Code on Social Security, 2019, proposed by the labour and employment ministry as the latest draft for the Code allegedly has lesser provisions for the welfare of the unorganised workforce.
The ministry prepared the Code on Social Security, 2019 by amalgamating, simplifying, and rationalising the relevant provisions of the existing eight labour Acts....