The destructive fishing practices are one of the biggest threat to the lives and livelihoods to the small scale fishers as well as the sustenance of the fish resources in the country.NAFSO has been fighting against this and pressurize the government officials and politicians to enforce the existing law on the same.The Gazette notification of 1985 by the Minister of Fisheries is the key instrument to control over the destruction and NAFSO's demand was to enforce the law all around the country.
However, the authorities are deaf and blind to the situation and no law enforcement was occurred though the politicians, government authorities gave serious promises several times since 1987. Recently, NAFSO launched a series of dialogues with the MOF of present regime and we received the same treatment and there was no change with the law enforcement.
In October, 2006, April and October 2007, NAFSO representatives received the same promise from the present MOF and there was no change happened as a result of these dialogues. All were broken promises and fisher people are utterly frustrated. However, NAFSIO and the members did not give up the hope. They continued the dialogue as well as voice out where ever possible time comes.
21, November the fisher people celebrate the World Fisheries Day every year and voice out their demands for their survival and sustenance. Last month, NAFSO and the membership celebrated the WFD and the destructive fishing and the livelihood secirty was the key demands among fishers again.
People voice out the immediate action by the authorities and they highly highlighted their frustration over the government authorities’ inactiveness to our demands. As a result of the dialogue among the NAFSO leaders and the fishers at the WFD on 21st November, the group agreed to campaign further to take action to stop this illegal fishing.
28 Puttlam fishers got together at Daluwa where the Deputy Fisheries Minister's house and demanded to immediate action to stop this. After very serious and lengthy discussions amidst various difficulties, deputy minister gave a letter which addressed to the DFEO at Puttlam to take immediate action to arrest illegal fishing. The discussion NAFSO leaders had with Kandakuliya, Thalawila and Baththalangunduwa fishers, NAFSO wanted to take some legal actions against authorities, after two weeks time from 30th November.
Now, 10th December, NAFSO has taken decision to meet all the DFEO officers and inform them to take legal action against the Illegal fishing and pressurize them again as a collective action.
We expect to launch this island wide and want to implement the next steps to keep the people aware on the situation. So, 10th December is a decisive date for the fisher people who are suffering from the destruction and also it will be same to the officials too.The fishers will take strong actions forward unless 10th December action will be a fruitful and officials will take steps to stop these destructions immediately.
We will report the results of the campaign and will seek assistance from you all as the next step.