KANYAKUMARI: Around 3,000 deep sea fishermen from the coastal villages of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadustaged a demonstration in front of the collectorate in Nagercoil on Wednesday to protest against the central government's move to implement the recommendations of the Dr Meena Kumari Commission. The panel has recommended issuing of Letter of Permit to foreign vessels to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Indian waters - 200 nautical miles off the coast. It suggested deploying 1,178 deep sea vessels, including the existing ones and an additional 270 vessels. The protesters said the implementation of the panel's recommendations would wipe out the livelihood of traditional fishermen. The protest caused a traffic block in the area. Police lathicharged the fishermen to disperse them. A fishermen, Carlos from Chinnathurai, suffered injuries in the melee. All the commercial establishments were closed in the coastal hamlets, and fishermen didn't go for fishing. Fisherwomen in Chinnathurai and Kollangode abstained from selling fish and carried out the ritual of boiling seawater in pots. "Through this ritual our fisher women symbolized that there will be nothing but seawater for fishermen once the committee's report is implemented. Our deep sea fishermen will lose their livelihood to foreign fishing vessels," stressed P Justin Antony of the Tamil Nadu Fishermen Development Trust. "While being reluctant to provide minimum infrastructure for the fishermen, the central government is ready to facilitate foreign fishing companies to fish in Indian waters," said D Sharlin of Thoothoor. "As deep sea fishermen, we don't have proper fishing jetties and other facilities. But the Centre seems to be interested only in helping foreign fishing companies," he said. Joe D' Cruz, renowned author and fishermen think tank, urged the Centre to scrap the Dr Meena Kumari report. "Instead of supporting our deep sea fishermen by providing duty free fuel and infrastructure to store their catch on board and off shore, our government lets them down by implementing the recommendations of the Dr Meena Kumari panel. When so much focus is given on facilitating fishers to abandon destructive trawl netting along the Indian coast, such a move would deprive them of their resources once they set sail to deep seas," he said. "When a change of policy in fishing is expected from the present government, it seems to follow the previous government's policies even more vigorously. This would destroy the livelihood of fishers along the coast", he added. Cruz said the Centre should implement the recommendations of the P Murari Committee. The panel recommended revoking licences to foreign fishing vessels and providing infrastructure for local fishermen. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/TN-fishermen-stage-protest-against-move-to-implement-Meena-Kumari-panel-recommendations/articleshow/46852450.cms Indian fishermen in doldrums,but we want foreign vessels to fish in!