The South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association President, K. Bharathi said that the draft bill favours the interests of big groups and that if the bill was passed in the present form it would lead to protests across the coastal belt of the country.
While speaking to IANS, the fishermen leader said, "We are planning to meet chief minister, M.K. Stalin to apprise him of the dangers involved in the bill and how the central government is trying to pass the bill in parliament without discussing it with the stakeholders or even with the chief ministers of the coastal states."
The joint association of fishermen had staged a black flag protest march against the Bill on Monday with fishermen from across the state joining the agitation.
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader and Member of Parliament from Villupuram constituency, D. Ravikumar had opposed the Indian Marine Fisheries Bill during a virtual discussion and had lodged protest against the provisions that they say are against the fishermen.
Ravikumar told IANS, "The draft Indian Marine Fisheries Bill 2021 is loaded with provisions against the fishermen and it does not seem to have the welfare of the fishermen as an important criterion. It is aiming to portray the poor and hapless fishermen as criminals and collect fines from them. We have called upon Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin to take legal and political steps to prevent the passing of the bill in parliament in its present form."
Nanjil Ravi of the Akhila Indiya Meenavar Sangham said that the fishermen organisations would oppose the Indian Marine Fisheries Bill in its present form. The fishermen leader said that a joint action council of fishermen associations has sought an appointment of the Tamil Nadu chief minister in the coming days and would meet him to apprise him of the situation. He said that the fishermen associations have several suggestions to make in the bill for the welfare of the community.