rn: Action: Indian resistance to shrimp farming


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,

I doubt most of you realize how damaging shrimp farming is... And since
shrimp are a crucial link in the marine food chain, even wild shrimp
harvesting is not a healthy practice. And so I pass along something a
biologist and conservationist passed on to me once: the suggestion that we
who are wealthy enough to have access to electricity and adequate food not
eat shrimp.... I'm sure for several people on this list, not eating shrimp
will be nothing new! (Some don't have the money to afford any such luxury, I
know, and some, on principle, are vegetarian.)

all the best, Jan
From: •••@••.•••

Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 22:47:23 +0200
Subject: URGENT APPEAL: 4 Shrimp Farm Protesters Killed In India
From:  World Forum of Fish-harvesters and Fishworkers  (WFF)

 Fishworkers Killed in Police Firing in India
 Fri, 11 Jun 1999

Protest Against the killing of fishworkers in Orissa, India.

Four fishworkers, including a women, were killed and 13 injured some of
them seriously as police opened fire late at night against the
fishworkers who were in their villages after participating in an anti
prawn culture agitation organised by Chilika Matsyajibi Mahasangh.

The problem in Chilika is going on for some time.  There was a strong
movement in Chilika which was supported by the National Fishworkers
Forum which had earlier resisted the industrial group of TATAS from conducting
aquaculture there which destroys both the livelihood of fishworkers and
the environment.

The Chilika lake (which is the largest Brackish water lake in India) has
been occupied by mafias for aquaculture with the support of local
politicians and beaurocrats.  The Supreme Court of India by their
historical judgement against aquaculture has said that there should be
no shrimp farms within 1000 meters of the lake.

The fishworker organisation had given a 24 hour ultimatum to demolish
all prawn gheries which lapsed on May 29.  Fishworkers then destroyed about
11 illegal prawn farms.

Police raided the village on midnight after 10,000 villagers led by
Chilika Matsyajibi Mahasangh destroyed the prawn farms.  Police then
began to beat villagers mercilessly, threw tear gas shells and began shooting
without provocation.  Banchhanidhi Behera died on the spot; Digambar
Behrera and Prema Behra on the way to hospital (and another victim died
later at the hospital.).

The National Fishworkers Forum Chairperson Mr.Harekrishna Debnath has
condemned the incident and strongly protested against the police action.

He said that National Fishworkers Forum uphold the right of the
fishermen to freely fish in the lake and asked the administration to evict all
outsiders from the lake.  NFF is supporting the strike call of June 5th.

NFF vows to intensify the struggle against
industrial aquaculture and demands the withdrawal of the Aquaculture
Authority  Bill.

Thomas Kocherry Co-ordinator of World Forum Of FishHarvesters and
Fishworkers  has also condemned the police firing and asked the
guilty to be punished immediately.

 Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 17:18:04 -0400
From: Don McAllister <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fisheries & environment


OSLO - A U.S. economics professor and an Indian who has campaigned for
25 years against over-fishing of the oceans won one of the
world's richest environmental awards.

American Herman Daly of the University of Maryland and India's Thomas
Kocherry shared the annual $100,000 Sophie Prize, first awarded
in 1998, for their work on alternatives to economic globalisation and
free markets.

The prize was set up by Norwegian Jostein Gaarder, author of the
international best-seller "Sophie's World", a novel that doubles as a
guide to the history of philosophy.

Gaarder praised the two for mapping out alternatives to globalisation -
saying Daly had spelt out theory while Kocherry had acted through
campaigns to safeguard coastal fisheries for local peoples rather than
throw them open to foreign trawlers.

The awards committee, which considered 35 candidates, hailed Daly in a
statement for his books including "Beyond Growth" and
"Economics, Ecology, Ethics." A former World Bank economist, he resigned
in 1992 in a dispute over its development policies.

It said Kocherry was a priest, lawyer and trade union leader who heads
the "World Forum of fish-harvesters and fishworkers".

Last year's maiden award went to a group of Nigerians opposed to the
development of the nation's oil resources by international oil

Gaarder and his wife set up the prizes with revenues from "Sophie's
World", hoping to promote greater awareness of the environment and
development issues.

(C) Reuters Limited 1999.]


The police violence has resulted in a massive popular strike held on
June 5th called by the fishermen's union.

On 5th June, due to the 12 hours Bandh called by Chilika
MatsyajibiMahasangh, the railway and road connection with Easten coast
of the country came into a standstill. This bandh was supported by two left
groups and Janata Dal.  Fishworkers have blocked the railroad in many
stations as a result of which trains were stranded in different
>From the morning fishworkers started sitting on the railway lines of
Rambha, Khallikote, Bhusandapur and other stations.In Bhubaneswar
station 600 women carrying their children stopped the Chennai-Howrah Koromandal
Express. Eight  trains including Puri-Talcher Passenger, Puri-Katak
Passenger were cancelled.

Apart from the communication system, in rest of the state the impact of
the Bandh was partial. In capital Bhubaneswar it was totally successful,
shops were closed. Thousands of fishworkers from Chilika and adjacent area
have made human wall in the city and vehicles were totally stopped.
Attendance in offices was very poor. Police arrested 2000 people including
fishworkers and workers of different political groups.

For more information, contact:
Thomas Xavier Kocherry
Co-ordinator,  World Forum of Fish-harvesters and Fishworkers  [WFF]
Co-ordinator, National Alliance of Peoples Movements (India), [NAPM]
Velankanny, Junction, Valiathura,  Thiruvananthapuram 695 008,  INDIA
Phone & Fax: +91 - 471 - 50 1376;
E-mail: •••@••.•••
Website: http://www.south-asian-initiative.org/wff


Please send faxes and/or letters of protest to Prime Minister and Orissa

Chief Minister at the following addresses:

1)     Mr. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
       Prime Minister of India,
       152, South Block
       New Delhi- 110 011,
       Fax : +(91) 11 301 8906,  301 6857

2)      Mr. Giridar Gomang
        Chief Minister of Orissa,
        Fax: +(91) 674 401 007

3)      Ambassador R.K. Rai
        Indian Ambassador to Thailand
        The Indian Embassy
        Sukhumvit 23 Road
        Soi Prasanmit 46
        Bangkok  10110
        Fax: 02-258-4627

And, please include in your cc of any copeis of correspondence you may
sent out to embassies or Indian PM to the National Fisherworkers Forum
(NFF) of India and to
Harekrishna Debnath at:  <•••@••.•••> so that they can
pass the word along to the people on the frontlines who, I'm sure,
will receive a moral boost to know that the eyes of ISA Net are


Honourable Prime Minister Vajpayee,

With this letter, I wish to express to your government
condemnation and absolute repulsion over the lamentable events that have

occurred in Orissa, India that resulted in the killing of four
fisher people, and the wounding of 13 others, as a result of police
taken against their protests over the construction of shrimp aquaculture

facilities in Chilika Lake.

Chilika lake has been occupied by the shrimp industry, with the
support of the local politicians and bureaucrats, even though the
Supreme Court of India has ruled in an historical decision  that
shrimp farms were to be prohibited within 1,000 meters of  lake.

In response to the illegal establishment of these shrimp farms,  the
fishermen of Chilika, supported by the National Forum of
Fisherworkers, were exercising their right to protest against these
actions, and denounce them to the authorities.

The Indian Government must initiate actions against the people
responsible for the deaths of these citizens of Chilika, and to
prosecute those who have installed or continue to operate shrimp
farms, in violation of  the order of the Supreme Court of India.

Yours sincerely,





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