The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) and the Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation have demanded permanent postings for 200 persons from the fishing community who were recruited on a temporary basis for coastal rescue operations.

That the government has been unable to provide them permanent jobs indicates a neglect towards the fishing community, NFF general secretary T. Peter and federation State president Jackson Pollayil said.

The State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) can effectively utilise their services for disaster management. Despite the hardships on the coast due to the COVID-19 lockdown and inclement weather, fishers have enthusiastically joined the rescue operations in flood-hit areas of the State this year also, the organisations pointed out.

The NFF and the federation also have demanded urgent assistance for the fisher community as their livelihood has been affected by the pandemic and inclement weather.

The community is facing intense hardships with the lockdown getting extended and adverse weather conditions preventing fishing activity. Fishers, fish vendors, and allied workers and small traders along the coast are facing starvation, they said.