Global meet on fisheries

July 17th, 2011 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The problem of small-scale fisheries and excessive harvesting of marine resources would be the focus of a two-day international conference starting here Monday.

The conference, to be inaugurated by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, would also focus on the need for maintaining healthy diverse marine landscapes and requirement of sustainable stocks through the use of high technology.

The conference, being organized by Observer Research Foundation (ORF), will deliberate on some of the current problems being faced by fishermen in India and its neighbourhood.

Given India’s long maritime border along with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the conference assumes significance because of contentions between India and its neighbours on account of trespassing by the fishermen of the poorly demarcated maritime border, an ORF statement said.

While with Bangladesh it has mainly been an issue of trespasses by fishermen into each others territory, in a poorly demarcated area, with Sri Lanka the issues concerned are more nuanced and often dynamic and carry a historical baggage, it said.

With Pakistan, the problems are again dynamic given the frequent arrests of poor fishermen from both sides who tend to stray into each others territory or, more often, fish in areas that are regarded as disputed.

“Over harvesting in South Asia is often restricted by a poorly enforced ‘ban on fishing’ in certain critical periods during the year”, the statement said.

The statement said that while the “issues of sovereignty, security and IUU finds considerable interest in many fishing fora, seminars and discussions in South Asia - aspects related to the usage of technology and over harvesting for sustainable fishing, empowerment of poor small-scale fishermen, do not receive the attention they deserve.”

The conference is being attended by prominent scholars, stake-holders and officials from India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Holland, Denmark and Australia.

The conference will look at various aspects like “Livelihood concerns and ground realities”, “Managing the resources, making alternatives possible”, “Problem-solving mechanisms and methods”.

The session on “Livelihood concerns and ground realities” will have papers on “Problems of Palk Bay fishermen on the Indian side”, “Problems of Northern and Eastern fishermen from Sri Lanka” and “Problems faced by multi-day fishermen from Sri Lanka”.

The session on “Managing the resources, making alternatives possible” have been split into “Palk Bay Commons”, “Problem of small-scale fisheries and tackling them”, “International perspectives” and a discussion on the papers.

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