New Delhi: On the second day of the 7th General Assembly of The World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), the delegates from around 42 member countries and nine coastal states in India, who are part of the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), its India-based member organisation had detailed discussions on one the greatest threats that the fishing community is facing today: ‘Ocean-grabbing’.

The WFFP workshop stated that the fishing Community will resist ocean Grabbing by government and corporates in the days to come.

Herman Kumara (WFFP, Sri Lanka) defined ocean grabbing as “the taking away of people’s livelihood and customary rights and traditional way of living.” He detailed the concept and mentioned that “either through privatization, militarization, financialisation or conservation processes or infrastructural developments through mining or other ways, the people who are dependent on these natural resources such as oceans, lagoons or inland water bodies will be evicted from their locales and the government restructure and reform the legislation to justify the resources taken away from them.”

The delegates from the various African, Asian and European and Latin American countries, spoke about the different ways in which their governments and private companies are grabbing land, water and forest resources in their regions.

NFF condemns this move by private companies supported by governmental policies and legislations in the name of development projects such as Sagaramala which they are resisting as a mass organization. T Peter, the Gen. Sec of NFF added that the Vizhinjam port in Kerala is an imminent threat fishing community, their lives and livelihood. He added that the bigger trawling vessels procure the satellite images of the fish availability and loot the marine wealth in bulk which affects the small-scale fishworkers.

The fisheries exhibition at the venue, YMCA, Delhi on the fishing equipment and life on the coast, coordinated by NFF will be open till the 20th of November.

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