Fish workers, led by National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) staged massive protests in 23 ports and harbours, across coastal states, yesterday. The protests across the state saw a turnout of thousands of fishermen and general public. They stands firm against any proposed plan of a shipping corridor, as it endangers the lives of all fishermen.
The protests were a success in garnering attention towards the fishing communities and their plights at the hands of a disinterested government and an exploitative corporate nexus. In Kerala, K.V Thomas, Member of Parliament, inaugurated the protests, standing firmly in support of all fishing communities. MLA, M. Vincent was also present.
In Maharasthra, various fishing unions convened in large numbers, rallied for their livelihood and opposed the government’s one sided notification. Mahadev Janker, Minister of Cattle and Dairy Development, Fisheries, attended the protests and heard the fishing communities’ demands. Rahula Navekar, Shri. Bhai Jagtap, Shri. Raj Purohit, Shri Jayant Patil, all MLAs, were also present. Numerous political leaders joined the protests across all coastal states and were in support of the fishing communities and their demands.
In Goa, amidst hundreds of fishermen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effigy was burned as a collective sign of dissatisfaction. With a strong opposition to the disastrous effects of the Blue Economy, including the Sagarmala project, various Goan Fishing Unions expressed their mistrust in the current ruling government.
In West Bengal, all fishing unions submitted a memorandum outlining their fears and listing their demands to the concerned Ministry. Odisha and Tamil Nadu also saw a turnout of hundreds of fishermen standing in solidarity with each other and against the proposed shipping corridor.
NFF Chairperson Narendra Patil and General Secretary T. Peter have pledged that if the government does not relent and continues towards establishing a shipping corridor, these protests will become nationwide and will reach Delhi too.
If the government, does not heed the demands of the fishworkers after this protest, the NFF is planning to take massive campaign across the coastal states with immediate effect.