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employment to millions of people and contributes to food security of the country. With a coastline of over 8,000 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq km,

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Evicted Indian fisherfolk seek restoration of rights by Pradip Chatterjee August 17,2013   |  Source: The Statesman

Around 10,000 poor fishermen who were evicted from Jambudwip, an isolated island situated in the Bay of Bengal about 8 km to the southwest of Fraserganj in South 24-Parganas district in West Bengal, India, have written to the Chief Minister urging her to restore the traditional right of the fishers to indulge in seasonal fish drying activities on the island.

The eviction took place in 2003, affecting the livelihood of around 10,000 people belonging to the fishing communities working on the island and thousands of fisherfolk and people who were engaged in transport and trade of dry fish.

It was alleged that these fisherfolk, who sorted and dried fish caught from neighbouring waters from October to February every year, were destroying the environment.

In 2003 the Central Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court, ordered eviction of the fisherfolk from Jambudwip. In August 2003, the local fishermen's association of Jambudwip, along with National Fishworkers' Forum, appealed to the Supreme Court against the CEC report, seeking their traditional rights back.

In July 2009, the Expert Committee appointed by the MoEF and headed by Dr. M S Swaminathan said in its report "Final Frontier" that the fisherfolk were not harming the environment in Jambudwip and derided

 

© 2013 The Statesman Limited

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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