Vadodara: Over 27,000 boat owners from Gujarat, which has 1600-km-long coastal line, would be on day-long strike tomorrow protesting the proposed Marine Act.
According to fishermen, the proposed Act not only allows entry of foreign players but also restricts their movement in the sea.
The strike is in response to a call from Indian Fishermen Association, National Fishing Forum and Akhil Gujarat Machhimari Mahamandal, Federation of Indian Fishermen and Industries.
The protest comes after talks with the union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on 3 February failed to achieve desired results, Welkins Masani, president of IFA said.
Masani claimed Pawar was in favour of entry of foreign ships and foreign technology into the Indian sea, which is being vehemently opposed by the fishermen.
According to Masani, when entry of foreign ships is banned in countries like China, Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Netherlands, why is India encouraging it.
“Big foreign ships and trawlers will pollute the water more,” Masani said adding similar plans were dropped by the then prime minister P V Narsimharao in 1994.
The Centre’s proposed Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Maintenance) Act contains a clause which bans fishing beyond 12 nautical miles from the port where the boats and trawlers are registered, Masani said.