Trade unions representing a substantial 23,159 families engaged in the fishing industry in the Jaffna district staged a protest in front of the Jaffna District Secretariat. The fisherfolk, whose livelihoods depend on the sea, demanded immediate action to address pressing concerns related to their industry.
The protestors demands were threefold:
Stop Indian Fisherfolk Incursions: The trade unions called for robust measures to halt the frequent incursions by Indian fisherfolk into Sri Lankan waters. These incursions have disrupted the livelihoods of local fisherfolk.
End Bottom Trawling: Fisherfolk vehemently opposed the destructive practice of bottom trawling employed by some Indian fishing vessels. This method, which involves dragging nets along the seabed, has adverse ecological effects and threatens marine biodiversity.
Protection for Fisherfolk Equipment: The protestors demanded adequate protection for their fishing equipment, which has often been damaged or destroyed surreptitiously during fishing
The demonstrators expressed their deep frustration, noting that numerous discussions had taken place in the past, involving multiple stakeholders, but had failed to yield concrete solutions to these ongoing issues.
The fisherfolk and their trade unions firmly asserted that they would continue to engage in protests unless the Jaffna District Secretariat took prompt and transparent action, involving all relevant stakeholders, to address their grievances..