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Remove threats to livelihood, traditional fishermen tell AP Govt

Our Bureau

Visakhapatnam , June 25

THE associations of fishermen in the State have urged the Government to take immediate steps to prevent release of untreated effluents into the sea by several industrial units and the consequent adverse impact on marine organisms.

At the conclusion of a State-level meeting of various associations here on Thursday, the fishermen said the industrial units were being allowed to dump the wastes into the sea. They cited the example of a chemical unit at Pusapatirega village in Vizianagaram district.

The associations also said there was heavy siltation at Langavenidibba in Guntur district where the Krishna joined the Bay of Bengal. They urged the Fisheries Department to take note of the problem and get the silt removed to facilitate easy passage into the sea through the river.

In another resolution, the fishermen urged the Government to give them Scheduled Tribe status, a demand pending for a long time. They said it would make their life easier and enable them to avail themselves of several Government schemes.

Further, the associations urged the Government to implement the Marine Regulatory Act and Coastal Regulation Zone Act strictly to protect their rights and their means of livelihood.

Construction of houses and provision of basic amenities in the fishermen villages and hamlets were the other demands voiced by the representatives of 50 associations from all the coastal districts.

UNI adds: The meeting demanded an immediate ban on foreign trawlers as ``they are wreaking havoc'' on the livelihood of traditional fishermen.

A resolution said foreign trawlers, with their huge nets, were exhausting the fishing areas of the traditional fishermen and this had dealt a severe blow to the livelihood of poor fishermen and their families along the Andhra coast.

The meeting was attended by leaders belonging to Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, East Godavari and Guntur districts, and was supported by the unions in the other four districts of Nellore, West Godavari, Prakasam and Krishna.

The Andhra Pradesh Traditional Fishermen's Union Secretary, Mr T.K. Rahiman, told UNI that the Union Government had issued 86 licences to foreign trawlers in the country, and if trawling activities were not stopped immediately, poor fishermen and their families would have to starve as there was an alarming slide in the catch of traditional fishermen.

He demanded a better deal for poor fishermen from the State Government and said those who had lost boats and the families of those who had lost lives due to cyclone and other natural calamities should be given immediate compensation.

More Stories on : Environment | Aquaculture | Andhra Pradesh

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