Members of the fishing community from several coastal areas of India on Sunday protested against the World Trade Organization (WTO) proposal to curb fishery subsidies as it was not responsive to the demands of the developing nations.
“If subsidy stops for traditional fishermen, their lives and livelihood will be stopped. So this should not be against the traditional fishermen, if the subsidy discipline is required it should be for industrial fishermen. This is our main demand,” said Biman Jana, from West Bengal.
The draft does not adequately address the concerns on food security and livelihood of small fishers while including provisions that could help advanced countries perpetuate their huge dole for long-distance fishing.
During the 12th World Trade Organisation ministerial meet that began on June 12, fishermen from across India assembled outside the United Nations Office, Geneva and protested against the proposed cut and explained how huge fishing giants from Europe and China are responsible for the depletion of marine resources.
To protect the interest of the Indian fisher population a group of 34 fishers from India has arrived at Geneva, representing Gujarat (5), Maharashtra (6), Goa (1), Karnataka (2), Kerala (6), Tamil Nadu (5), Andhra Pradesh (4) and West Bengal (5) states of India.
“I am a ninth-generation fisherman and my family has been involved in fishing for ages. The fishing boats from developed nations like China and Europe catch thousands of tonnes of fish freeze them on the boat and they take it away,” said a protesting fisherman from Maharashtra. (ANI)