Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pictures of speed boats that violate fishing rights in Zuari river

  They are operated by aquasail as can be ascertained from the picture below. The above picture is of speed boats used for water sports purpose by Hotel in river Zuari.
These are boats that Hotel Grand Hyatt has released in Zuari river which are objected to by fishermen supported by Bharat Mutki Morcha.

Fresh incidents of fishing rights violations in Zuari river today

Hotel Grand Hyatt released 3 speed boats in Zuari river thereby causing fishing rights violation. The aggression was carried on at around 10.30 am today. Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns the repeated violations in Zuari river by Hotel Grand Hyatt. Fisheries department of Goa government is party to fishing rights violations.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Fishing rights violation in Zuari again by Hotel Grand Hyatt

3 Speed boats were released in Zuari river today at 1.00 pm. Local mulnivasi people specially fishermen  have objected to this bamani aggression. In the meanwhile Bharat Mukti Morcha has began contacting tourists to boycott Hotel Grand Hyatt for the reasons of fishing rights violations in Zuari river.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Why continues violation of fishing rights on behest of Hotel Grand Hyatt?

According to the information received at 12.20 pm two water sports boats of Hotel Grand Hyatt were noticed violating fishing rights in Zuari river. Fishermen f the locality has objected to the speed boats plying in Zuari river by Hotel Grand Hyatt, Bambolim. It is not sure as to why this hotel is determined to violate fishing rights. Bharat Mukti Morcha strongly condemns Hotel Grand Hyatt for continues violation of fishing rights in Zuari river.

Update on race war in Zuari river

Date: 15th December 2014
                           1
To,
The Governor
Government of Goa
Dona Paula, Goa
                           2
To,
The Chief Minister,
Government of Goa
Secretariat,
Porvorim, Goa
                            3
To,
The Minister of Fisheries,
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim, Goa

                           4
To,
The Chief Secretary,
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim, Goa
                            5
To,
The Secretary (Fisheries)
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim,
Goa
                            6
To,
The Under Secretary (Fisheries),
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim,
Goa
                           
To,
The Captain of Ports,
River Navigation Department
Panjim, Goa
                             8
To,
The Director,
Department of Tourism,
Panjim,  Goa
                           9                        
To,
The Director,
Department of Fisheries,
Government of Goa,
Panjim, Goa
                           10
To,
The Collector (North Goa),
Government of Goa
Panjim, Goa
                           11
To,
The Mamlatdar,
Tiswadi Taluka,
Panjim, Goa
                            12
To,
The Director-General of Police (DGP)
Police Headquarters,
Panjim, Goa
                         13
To,

The Superintendent of Police (North Goa)
Porvorim, Goa
                          14

To,
Vishnu Surya Wagh
The Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)
St. Andre Constituency,
Goa

                            15
To,
The Parish Priest,
Our Lady of Bethlehem,
Bambolim
Goa
                         16
To
The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Curca – Bambolim- Talaulim
Goa
                             17
To,

The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Siridao
Goa
                         18
To,

The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Taleigao,
Goa
                          19
To,
The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Santa Cruz, Goa
                         20
To,
The Parish Priest,
Our Lady of Rosary Church,
Siridao, Goa




Subject:  Update on Race war against traditional Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Cacra and Odxel fishermen in Zuari river by Hotel Grand Hyatt through water sports, Trawlers and Mini Purse seining


Sir/Madam,

1.   As you are already aware of our letter to you dated 21st November 2014 that fishermen of Zuari coast in Tiswadi taluka are facing race war. Here we write to update on the situation since our last letter of 21st November 2014 and calling upon you to act in defense of traditional fishermen.
2.   On 22nd November 2014 at around 1.30 pm 5 trawlers were observed violating fishing rights in Zuari river. Minister of Fisheries, Goa Government was contacted by member of Santa Cruz Panchayat Sanjay Pereira. The Patrol boat of the fisheries department came and intercepted the trawlers in the river.
3.   On 24th November 2014 two trawlers were sighted in Zuari River thereby violating fishing rights of the traditional fishermen. The trawlers were sighted at 4.45 pm. Director; Fisheries department Sharmila Monteiro as well as Minister of Fisheries Avertano Furtado was intimated on their mobiles with request to act. Marine Police were also contacted. At around 5.05 pm both the trawlers abandoned fishing and raced out of mouth of River Zuari before they were booked and penalized. Fisheries department was too slow in acting and interrogating these trawlers.  There is a need for permanent stationing of Police patrol boat in Zuari River so that offending trawlers like this are not allowed to escape the arms of law. Investigations are also needed as to whose trawlers that are repeatedly dare to violate the law.
4.   On 27th November 2014 Naval police as well as Goa coastal police had a meeting with fishermen in Cacra village and assured the fishermen of their support. Director of Fisheries who was to come at the Cacra meeting failed to come and sent a message that she does not have transport facility to Cacra.
5.   On afternoon of 29th November 2014 police visited Bambolim coast and met up with fishermen in respect to complaint of Bharat Mukti Morcha about fishing rights violation through water sports/speed boats of Hotel Grand Hyatt. However as soon as police left, Hotel Grand Hyatt released two speed boats inside river with tourists on board thereby violating fishing rights of the local fishermen.
6.    On the 3rd December – 4th December 2014 night unknown number of trawlers was fishing with their lights off.  Fishing for trawlers is banned at the distance of 5 kilometers from the shoreline of Arabian Sea. They have no business to enter inside Zuari river. Trawler kind of fishing is ecologically unsustainable as it involves digging of riverbed. Bharat Mukti Morcha already advised Goa Fisheries department to station permanent patrol vessel in Zuari to curtail fishing rights violations. Why department is adamant to accede to this advise is not known.
7.   On December 04 at 3.30 pm three trawlers were spotted in Zuari river fishing illegally. Department of Fisheries has been contacted and action against trawlers promised. Fisheries department did not act in spite of telephonic promise to act. Trawlers continued to fish illegally till 6.pm. Two trawlers were fishing illegally in Zuari River till late night.
8.   On December 4, 2014 night at 10.30 pm fishermen in Siridao detained trawler from Vasco belonging to Tulsidas A. Kukalkar licence no. FVL – 407/0105 – Goa dated 01/01/2004 with six staff on board. His season’s pass indicates that he has been authorized to carry on fishing activities in Arabian Sea and not in Zuari river. Trawler in this case ripped through the fishing net in Zuari river of the fisherman Chandrakant Lotlikar. Fisheries department must invoke Goa, Daman and Diu Fisheries Regulation Act, 1980 and rules of this law of 1981 and punish the offender immediately. When informed over the phone coastal police at Harbor refused to act against the offending trawler.
This incident shows that policing in Goa has become ineffective and false reports of compliance to law are filed before the Home Ministry while trawlers leisurely violate the law.
9.   On 9th December 2014 at 6.30 pm Hotel Grand Hyatt released its single speed boat in Zuari river there by violating fishing rights of the local fishermen.
10.               On 12th December 2015 five trawlers were fishing in the morning time thereby continuing violations of law. It looks as if Goa Government is toothless to stop fishing rights violations in Zuari river. Hope this situation changes immediately.

Awaiting your positive response for the cause of humanity, ecology and sustainable fisheries,

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

         Sd/-
Maggie Silveira
President, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa State Unit


         Sd/-
 Rahul Gawas
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Tiswadi Taluka unit


         Sd/-
 Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mutkti Morcha, Cacra unit


          Sd/-
Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Bambolim unit


          Sd/-
Soccoro Braganza
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Siridao unit


          Sd/-
Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Curca Unit



        Sd/-
Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Odxel Unit


      Sd/-
Milind Palkar
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Nauxi unit

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Facts of trawler seized by fishermen in Zuari river

On the night of December 4, 2014 at 10.30 pm one of the fishermen from Siridao village, the coast of Zuari river was fishing inside Zuari river. He noticed a trawler entering within 100 meters distance and ripped through traditional fishermen’s fishing net in Zuari river.
Fishermen towed his canoe closer to Trawler and got onto the trawler and ordered it to stop in the middle of the riveri. He then asked the trawler staff to get into his canoe in river and come to the shore. The staff agreed and everybody got into fishermen’s canoe and came to Siridao.

Fishermen asked dinner to the staff from the trawler but they refused. Then he gave his mats to staff to sleep. Before sleeping, fishermen got all the legal document of the fishing trawler available in board as well as identity cards of the trawler staff. Fishermen told the staff of the trawler to stay on land till morning when Director of Fisheries, Government of Goa will be visiting them. The staff agreed. Fisherman went to sleep at 1.00 pm as well as the trawler staff. Everybody went to sleep. Fisherman got up at 5.30 am and found trawler as well as staff missing. He found them nowhere in river or on shore. Their documents remained with fishermen. Mats were there but sleeping trawlers were not there. Fisherman cannot believe as to how the trawler managed to escape. They must have gone swimming to the trawler or someone must have taken them in canoe. Mobile phones of the trawler staff were not confiscated. Possibly they were in communication with their boss somewhere and succeeded in releasing the trawler at the wee hours of December 05, 2014. For fishermen it is still a victory as the initiative of one fisherman along with his family members succeeded in compounding the trawler.
Bharat Mukti Morcha congratulates Siridao fishermen for the direct action on the illegal fishing. Goa government as well as police has few lessons to learn from Siridao fishermen. Will they learn? Never mind, even if not they will be forced to learn.



Thursday, 4 December 2014

Fishermen detain trawler in Zuari river at Siridao coast

Traditional fishermen on the banks of Zuari river has detained one trawler engaged in illegal fishing off the coast of Siridao village in Zuari river.

Trawler was detained at around 10.30 pm on December 4, 2014 night. There has been tremendous tension over illegal fishing inside the Zuari river by trawlers over the past few months. Fisheries department has not shown necessary commitment to stop illegal fishing.

Owner of the trawler called up the fishermen to release his trawler. Fishermen however decided not to release the trawler till the Director of Fisheries visits the spot and book the offending trawler.

This incident shows that policing in Goa has become ineffective and false reports of compliance to law are filed before the Home Ministry while trawlers leisurely violate the law. This lacuna has now turned fishermen into policemen and has exercised citizens right of private arrest as well as the fundamental duty to protect environment from destructive trawler fishing in Zuari river.

Fishing conflict in Zuari river rooted in land conflicts on shore

By Sebastian Rodrigues

The clash between traditional fishermen and star hoteliers is rooted in on shores of Zuari river. Number of villages on Zuari bank near Bambolim are occupied historically by ST, OBC people. Yet they do not have legal control over the land that they inhabited and cultivated. From the time of 1972 land survey most of the land of traditional fishermen has been recorded as owned by Brahmins. This is also the case Bambolim, Nauxim villages. Brahmins through the application of educated yet cunning mind has got the land registered in their name even though they do not reside in the villages. Mhamreys, Kamats and Sinaris did this in Nauxim, Bambolim villages and then sold off the land to hoteliers putting ST and OBC people to new confrontational challenges.

However over the past 30 years there has been significant changes vis-à-vis traditional fishermen control over the land. Cacra village on the banks of river zuari were entirely dependent upon agriculture and horticulture. Then Goa University was located on their land. Their cultivation of vegetable stopped though gradually. The problem of livelihood arose in very powerful manner. There was increased pondering as to what to do next. Leadership of the tribal movement in Goa betrayed tribal people of Cacra village and did not promote any resistance to take over their land. This has been terrific betrayal of the tribal people at Cacra.

After pressure on their land and stopping of the cultivation these tribal people turned towards Zuari river for fishing on full time basis. They struggled and picked up the skills necessary for the purpose of fishing. Gradually with no option left at their command they found their destiny tied to Zuari River. Fishing in river and selling fish in Panjim market turned into new occupations of these adivasi people. Men would venture into Zuari river at 3.00 am in morning and return back by 6.00 am. Then sometimes customers would come to Cacra to collect fresh fish or if not women would carry fish to sell in Panjim market. Now if they are deprived of fishing for the sake of water sports in Zuari River then it is going to be terrible blow that is most unlikely to be taken the way Goa University was taken hands down 30 years ago when education was almost non-existent especially amongst ST and OBC people.

Goa University led to the construction of road approaching Cacra. This very road as ably demonstrated by Prabhakar Paddekar turned into source of ruin of the village. It attracted attention to the village from the mining company[1] that wanted to take over and turn the village as mini port for its ships to dock in Zuari river in 1997. Cacra is one of the villages located on the banks of river Zuari from where Prabhakar Padekar hails and is adivasi in terms of ethnicity. He wrote “This old community our ancestors have lived here for centuries. When nothing else existed, not even the road that passes from Bambolim to Donapaula. After liberation you will see that Cacra is loosing more than it is gaining. Due to the development of the University, we have lost our right over the forest which our ancestors cultivated for centuries. We in Cacra do not get public water supply and have no toilets. Yes, we have a road that threatens to bring into Cacra the construction of Dock on our river front. Yes, we have electricity but then while we remain in darkness when the Industries and construction that gets all the electricity they want.[2]This has been the order of marginalization state of people in villages like Cacra and its neighbors. Tensions that this coastal region has been put under can be gauged from Padekar’s writings further “It may be noted that temporary structures, machinery and personnel were first moved into Cacra on may 7th 1998. On Friday 8th may work was started. By the morning of 15th May, Police from Goa Velha Police station arrived to protect the work. On 18th May the villagers requested MLA Ms Victoria Fernandes and Sarpanch Mr. William Gonsalves to intervene and the work was stopped on site.

On 20th May company resumed work with increased police protection. Cacra Nagrik Vikas Samiti protested against the illegal drilling operations. However, Murmugao maritime Ltd (MML), a Fomento Company carried out the work with Police protection.

On 5th June 1998, ‘WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY’ CNVS organized a protest Dharna on the occasion of the World Environment Day to highlight the issue. Over 100 men, women and children and teaching faculty members from Goa University participated in the Dharna in front of the office of North Goa collector. Then they called on the Tiswadi Mamlatdar and North Goa Collector. We discussed in detail the illegal drilling operations and soil testing by MML for the purpose of constructing the Offshore Stockyard and Berth (OSB). Then the CNVS has written letter to the chief Secretary, department of Science, technology and Environment, Panchayat for immediate action on the illegal activity undertaken by MML. The letter received from Marmagao Port Trust (MPT) Deputy Conservator, who disclosed that MML permitted to carry Soil Testing in Zuari river near Bambolim beach. It was stated that the company was asked to get all permissions from the State Government before undertaking the work. It should be noted that Bambolim beach comes under the revenue jurisdictions of Curca-Bambolim-Talaulim and is part of the San Andre constituency.[3]
Even though after protest work is stopped the red board with white writings on display board of Fomentos at the very entrance of the Cacra village is highly revealing. It read “Fomentos: Private Property: Trespassers will be prosecuted” Fomentos is the same company that is involved in open caste mining in Goa for iron ore and manganese is facing stiff resistance in hinterland Goa including with the use of explosives that are banned by law.
In addition to sinking of ore barges in Zuari river and fishing by mechanized boats also add up to the disturbances of smooth sailing of boats of traditional fishermen. Sinking of barge in Zuari river covered up the space where fishermen used to dive to harvest Oysters. Sinking of barges takes place for the reason of claiming of insurance. This is an additional incursion on fishing activities of traditional fishermen next only to the bigger incursions by mechanized fishing trawlers in Zuari river.

It is in this state of affairs that further land got sold off especially in Nauxi, Bambolim area where the epicenter of current tension in Zuari river is located – Grand Hyatt Hotel.


[1]                      Fomentos
[2]                      Padekar, Prabhakar (2003) Turmoil and struggle of a village, 



[3]                      ibid

Violation of fishing rights in Zuari river: diary notes


According to the reports reaching from the fishermen on Zuari river coast fishing were violated on the 3rd December – 4th December 2014 night. Unknown number of trawlers was fishing during the night time with their lights off.  Fishing for trawlers is banned for trawlers at the distance of 5 kilometers from the shoreline. Trawler kind of fishing is ecologically unsustainable as it involves digging of riverbed. Bharat Mukti Morcha has advised Goa Fishing department to station permanent patrol vessel in Zuari to curtail fishing rights violations.
.
On December 04 at 3.30 pm three trawlers were spotted in Zuari river fishing illegally. Department of Fisheries has been contacted and action against trawlers recommended. Fisheries department did not act in spite of telephonic promise to act. Trawlers continued to fish illegally till 6.pm. When the reports last came in at 8.20 pm two trawlers were fishing illegally in Zuari river.

On 27th November 2014 Naval police as well as Goa coastal police had a meeting with fishermen in Cacra village and assured the fishermen of their support. Director of Fisheries who was to come at the Cacra meeting failed to come and sent a message that she does not have transport facility to Cacra.


On afternoon of 29th November 2014 police visited Bambolim coast and met up with fishermen in respect to complaint of Bharat Mukti Morcha about fishing rights violation through water sports/speed boats of Hotel Grand Hyatt. However as soon as police left Hotel released two speed boast in river with tourists on board

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Stop violating Goa coastal peoples rights



Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns continues violations of fishing rights in Zuari river. Over the past one year there are intensified violations of fishing rights. The target group of these violations are the fishermen on the banks of river Zuari especially the villages of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim and Siridao.

The violations are from three sources. Firstly the water sports activities inside the Zuari River. The water sports including speed boats have to stop, operations in Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon the Chief Minister to act decisively and stop Hotel Grand Hyatt from operating the water sports/speed boats by revoking all the permissions granted through Fisheries department.

The second target of fishing violations of fishermen’s right has been from trawlers. In spite of legal ban on trawlers they continue to fish in Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon Goa government to enforce the ban on trawlers to take immediate measures to enforce ban.

The third target of fishing rights violations are in the form mini purse seine fishing inside the river there by taking away en mass fish from Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon Fisheries department to stop this. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon the Goa government to station permanent petrol boat inside the Zuari River to monitor activities of fishing rights violators namely trawlers, mini purse seiners, and cancel water sports permissions granted to Hotel Grand Hyatt.Bharat Mukti Morcha also notes that these fishermen have already been dispossessed of their cultivation lands by installing projects and various other real estate projects such as Aldeia de Goa, Hotel Grand Hyatt etc, and now their fishing rights are trampled upon in Zuari River.

For their daily livelihood they have to struggle to feed themselves and families whereby even the land where they used to cultivate is taken away for huge projects and lastly even spiritually they are not allowed to carry on the traditional litany at the Chapel and daily lighting of candles at the Cross as both have been included inside the compound wall of Hotel Grand Hyatt. This access to Chapel and the Cross on Bambolim beach must be opened to public for worship without any hindrances. The Chapel and the Cross is not constructed by hotel but it is a symbol of culture of freedom and faith sowed in Goa by St. Francis Xavier in 16th Century. This very faith we can see come alive as thousands of people every day flock to venerate sacred relics of St.Francis Xavier. The religious sentiments associated here are being hurt to the very core of the local people’s heart. Ancestors have kept such a high religious values installed in people that it is very difficult for anyone to interfere with people of such strong faith. In such a situation Hotel Grand Hyatt has nothing to look behind but only to give back to the local people what is the heritage of their ancestors, i.e. open up access to the Chapel and the Cross.


Summery:

1.   Hotel Grand Hyatt must stop water sports in Zuari river. Fisheries department must revoke permissions granted.
2.   Mini purse seine fishing in Zuari must stop.
3.   Trawlers fishing illegally in Zuari river must be stopped.
4.   Permanent patrol ship must be installed in Zuari river to protect interest of the traditional fishermen of Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Odxel and Cacra.
5.   Hotel Grand Hyatt must open access to the Chapel and also to the Cross, both currently included within compound wall of the Hotel.
       
        Sd/-
Maggie Silveira

President (Goa State)