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Report of the National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) Meeting

APPENDIX I

Report of the National Fishworker’s Forum (NFF) Meeting

On 29 February 2012, NFF held a preparatory meeting for the workshop. The meeting discussed the various problems faced by fishing communities living adjacent to, and fishing in, the five national parks and sanctuaries in mainland India—the Gulf of Mannar (Marine) National Park and Biosphere Reserve, the Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary, the Jamnagar (Marine) National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, the Malvan (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Sundarbans National Park and Biosphere Reserve. Suggestions and proposals were put forward and discussed. The meeting also helped coalesce the demands of the NFF regarding management of MCPAs. Advocate D Nagasaila presented her analysis of the WLPA and its provisions with regard to fishers’ rights in national parks and sanctuaries.

In the meeting, the following priority areas were outlined:

  • the need for legislation enshrining the rights of fishing communities;
  • the need for guidelines for operationalizing existing provisions on occupational interests of fishers (in the WLPA);
  • removal of bans on fishing certain species (like sea cucumber), while advocating for sustainable management of such resources;
  • participation of fishing communities in the...