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West Bengal: To save fishermen on trawlers, Bengal minister says life jackets must July 15,2019   |  Source: Hindustan Times

Plagued by the regular sinking of fishing trawlers and loss of lives of fishermen, the West Bengal government will hold a meeting with the fishermen association to prepare a blueprint on how to train them and minimise such accidents, said fisheries minister Chandranath Sinha. While Sinha said that the details of the steps would be worked out in consultation with the fishermen’s body, he promised to crack down on the reluctance of those going out to the sea to wear life jackets.

Incidentally, last year as many as 27 fishermen died in the Bay of Bengal after their trawlers capsized. This year, 24 are missing after a trawler sunk on July 6. The matter attracted national attention after one of the survivors, Rabindranath Das, was rescued by a Bangladeshi cargo ship. He managed to survive miraculously for five days without food and drank only rain water after his trawler sunk on July 6.

On Friday, Sundarbans Development minister Manturam Pakhira said that if trawlers don’t carry life jackets and fishermen don’t wear them, the government might decide to cancel the licence of the trawler owners. According to the state government, 10,000-10,500 trawlers in the state go out to the sea to catch fish. On an average, about 15 men board each vessel that regularly ventures to a

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)