The Kerala Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi has protested against what it called the neglect of the Stateâ€™s marine fisheries sector by the Union government in its implementation of the deep sea fishing policy.
The fishersâ€™ union has said while Kerala had submitted a â‚ą7,340 crore package for the marine fisheries sector in the State in the aftermath of the Ockhi cyclone in 2017, it was sanctioned a tenth of the money (â‚ą74 crore), whereas the Union government had accorded preferential treatment to Tamil Nadu.
While welcoming last weekâ€™s delivery of the first batch of deep sea fishing vessels by the Cochin Shipyard to fishermen in Tamil Nadu, the fishermenâ€™s Aikya Vedhi said Kerala was being punished for its consistent stand against foreign trawlers. The fishersâ€™ union also called for a strong protest against the Union government stand.
Kerala had demanded that the Union government provide a total of â‚ą600 crore for 500 boats costing â‚ą1.20 crore each in the wake of the Ockhi cyclone. However, it went on to sanction only 1% of the total money requested by the State.
The scheme submitted by the State government included 28 fishermenâ€™s villages, which were identified to have expertise in deep sea fishing.
The scheme proposed building deep sea fishing boats and handing them over to cooperatives in these fishing villages.
But, the Union government went ahead to build boats and handed them over to private individuals in Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, the Kerala fishersâ€™ union has welcomed the move to provide locals with expertise in deep sea fishing and reiterated that the union had consistently opposed surrendering Indiaâ€™s deep sea resources to foreign trawlers.