Traditional fishermen in Mangaluru will hold a protest with their boats on Friday on the banks of the Phalguni (Gurupura) at Bengre calling for scrapping the Sagar Mala project of the Union government that among others proposes a coastal berth at Bengre.
Phalguni Sampradayika Meenugarara Sangha president Abdul Tayyur Bengre in a statement here said that the coastal berth project at Bengre will snatch away the livelihood of hundreds of traditional fishermen and destroy their right to undertake work. Besides protesting with boats, families of fishermen will hold protests in their respective houses too.
Mr. Bengre said that the Union and State governments have decided to introduce several projects along the coastline in the name of Sagar Mala project. Already, the government is using force against fishermen who are protesting against such projects in Karwar, Honnavar and other places.
All the projects under Sagar Mala will result in the displacement of fishermen from the coastline on which they have built their life, Mr. Bengre said.
Sagar Mala’s intention itself is to remove traditional fishermen from their land and sea and hand fishing over to corporate entities.
At Bengre, the governments have proposed to construct the coastal berth to accommodate domestic vessels up to 5,000 tonnes capacity, for which the river bed will be dredged up to 7 m deep. This will not only affect small boats of traditional fishermen but also destroy valuable marine life, including the Maruvai and crabs. Dredging will result in increased speed of river current thereby destabilising traditional fishing boats, Mr. Bengre said.
The traditional fishermen thus are not only fighting for their survival but also for the protection of environment, said sangha’s honorary president Muneer Katipalla.
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