Q: What are the new provisions contained in the 2011 Notification to benefit the fisher-folk community?
A: Since the fishing communities traditionally live in the coastal areas, they have been given primary importance when drafting the CRZ Notification 2011.
One of the stated objectives of the Notification is “to ensure livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities, living in the coastal areas and to promote development through sustainable manner based on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas, sea level rise due to global warming.”
The following are the provisions in the 2011 Notification that address the issues relating to fishermen community:-
Water area up to 12 nautical miles and the tidal influenced water bodies have been included under the Coastal Regulation Zone areas in order to:
• Control the discharge of untreated sewage, effluents and the disposal of solid wastes as such activities endanger the fish and their ecosystem;
• Conserve and protect habitats in the marine area such as corals and coral reefs and associated biodiversity, marine sanctuaries and biosphere reserves, sea grass beds etc. which act as spawning, nursery and rearing grounds for fish and fisheries;
• Regulate activities in the marine and coastal waters such as dredging, sand mining, discharge of waste from ships, construction like groynes, breakwaters, etc. including reclamation which have serious impacts on fishing and allied activities;
· Enable studies of the coastal and marine waters with regard to the impact of climate change and the occurrence of disasters which have serious impacts on the livelihood and property of the fisher-folk communities;
It may be noted that no restrictions are being imposed on any fishing activities and allied activities of the traditional fishing communities in this area.
• At several coastal stretches of the country the fi shermen and their dwelling units are in danger due to erosion which is occurring primarily due to manmade activities. The development of such manmade foreshore activities shall be regulated after identifying and demarcating the coast as falling in the high eroding category, the medium eroding category or the stable sites category.
• While preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plans the infrastructures essential for fishing communities must be clearly demarcated and fishing Zones in the water bodies and the fish breeding areas shall also be clearly marked.
• The 2011 Notification requires the Coastal Zone Management Authorities to invite comments on the draft Coastal Zone Management Plan from stakeholders. This will ensure that for the fi rst time, local communities including fishermen communities will have a say in the preparation of the CZMPs.
• The Notification allows infrastructural facilities for the local fishing communities to be constructed in the CRZ-III area.
• Reconstruction, repair works of dwelling units of local communities including fisheries in accordance with local Town and Country Planning Regulations has been made permissible.
• In CRZ-III areas where 0-200 metres is a No Development Zone (NDZ), to meet The demands of dwelling units of traditional coastal communities including 8 fisher-folk, the NDZ has been reduced to 100 metres. Hence, dwelling units of such communities can be constructed 100-200 metres from High Tide Line along the seafront with the approval of the State Government and the MoEF.