Blue Revolution versus Fishers Livelihood: Review of the Deep Sea Fishing Policy Embracing Multinationals in Indian Waters

D. Rajasenan


The article is a critical inference linking fishers and fishery resources with respect to the recent suggestions on the Deep Sea Fishing Policy of the government of India. As a sustainable policy option in the fishing sector, the paper tries to illumine that any policy recommendation should be fishers-centric and fishery-resource-centric. Though the livelihood implications in the fishing sector is not a novel issue but the proposal of the Meenakumari Commission Report, which recommends for a moratorium to the 200-500 meters area inter alia opening up of the sea beyond 500 meters to the multinationals for exploiting the resource potential will have its own ramification in the coastal fishery, firstly in the form of livelihood threats and later in the form of resource depletion and concomitant issues. The report tries to address the poor fishermen by categorising the fish economy into a layering process and thereby juxtaposing this to agriculture and industry based on its scales of operation is indeed helpful for focusing on livelihood, poverty reduction and welfare measures. But the issue is that the other recommendations attract immediate attention as the clout of the multinationals and the capitalist entrepreneurs is too strong compared to the weak lobbying power of the poor fishers. Any policy recommendation devoid of the fisher’s livelihood concerns will have far reaching impacts in the coastal areas of India in the days to come.

Keywords: Blue revolution, livelihood security, Meenakumari Report, sustainable development, Deep Sea Fishing Policy

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