National Fish Workers’ Forum to Protest on CRZ Draft Notification 2018

National Fish Workers’ Forum to Protest on CRZ Draft Notification 2018

Margao-Goa: National Fishworkers’ Forum [NFF], the longest standing confederation of traditional and artisanal fish workers in the country. NFF came into existence in the late 1970s, much before the Government of India translated the need for a Ministry of Environment and Forests, in the context of the need of unified community voices to protect the marine, coastal ecosystem, the livelihood of the fishing community, as well as the marine sovereignty of the country, have declared June 11th, 2018 as National Protest Day on CRZ draft notification 2018.

The NFF unanimously rejects the draft, as this notification is scaling back on safeguards for the coastlines and therefore stands in violation of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 which states that the Central Government shall “… take all such measures that it deems to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution”.

In addition, this draft has been prepared without the consultation of the fish workers, who are by far the largest primary non-consumptive stakeholders and natural custodians of the coastal natural resources.

The coasts of India are undergoing a radical revisualisation under the Sagarmala programme which places ports, coastal shipping traffic, economic zones, power, petroleum and manufacturing plants along India’s already-stressed 7500-kilometre coastline. This massive 8 lakh crore project cannot be implemented under existing coastal regulations which guarantee traditional and customary rights to fish workers, as well as contains numerous prohibitions on environmentally polluting industries. To facilitate this program, coastal infrastructure and tourism have been given priority over coastal livelihoods, biodiversity and ecology in the draft notification. This stands in opposition to the long-term demands of the fishing communities, as well as ignores the protection of coastal ecosystems.

In this regards the state-affiliated unit that is Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott will submit a memorandum to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority office at pt. Deendayal Upadhay Bhavan at 10.30 am on Monday, Asking the Central and State government to withdraw the CRZ draft notification 2018.

Submitted by Olencio Simoes and Agnelo Rodrigues

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