Monday 4 January 2016

Press Release on Traditional Fishermen of Goa

Date: 04th January 2016

Bharat Mukti Morcha takes strong objections to the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s comments on traditional fishermen of Zuari River. Two days ago while on Goa visit Nitin Gadkari advised Government publicly to rent out one trawler for four fishermen so that they can carry on fishing 12 nautical miles into Arabian Sea. This he said because traditional fishermen has been involved in protest against Marinas in Zuari for over past 5 years at Sancoale and Nauxim-Bambolim.

Bharat Mukti Morcha rejects this advice of Nitin Gadkari. Mr. Gadkari advise has not originated from any concern for traditional fishermen of Goa but out of concern for marinas and luxury tourism. Gadkari’s advise is a great insult to the traditional fishermen from Zuari coast. Gadkari is not neither aware of what the traditional fishing is nor what the trawling is and the difference between the two. Further Gadkari’s comments have origin in greed of the luxury tourism. For greed even the entire planet is not enough. If the luxury hotels on the Zuari coast are not able to carry on then they must close down and hand over the land to the people of Nauxim and Bambolim for whom it originally and rightfully belongs. Bharat Mukti Morcha advises Mr. Nitin Gadkari not to engage in such free advice to the Fishermen of Zuari Coast. If Marinas does not come up in Zuari river fishermen should not be held responsible. The culprit is Murmagoa Port Trust (MPT) who has ignored fishermen totally in both the October 2010 Lease agreements on Marinas signed with Kargwal Constructions, Mumbai and another one with Yatch Heavens owned by Chowgules known for ecological destruction of Goa.

Mr.Gadkari looks at fishermen of Zuari River as the last hurdle for Marinas after getting rid of Alina Saldanha as Environment Minister and Nitin Sawant as member of State Bio-diversity board. What is most surprising is that no Fisherman has ever approached Nitin Gadkari to seek advice on how they should be conducting their fishing and where. Mr.Gadkari must stop interfering with traditional fishermen of Goa. Bharat Mukti Morcha will continue to strongly defend traditional fishermen. Trawling and mini per seining are technologically driven yet ecologically unsustainable ways of fishing and Bharat Mukti Morcha has already filed objections on behalf of traditional fishermen in this regard and accepted by Goa government.

Maggie Silveira


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