Small-scale fishermen demand fish farms

Fishery workers in Pathein Township, Ayeyawady Region, have called on June 20 for an auction of fish farms whose values are under Ks 4 million (US$2,900), reports say.

About 1,000 protesters demanded access to fish farms, the fighting of corruption in fisheries, the protection of marine life and waterways, and laws regarding freshwater fishery businesses.

They also accused the authorities of protecting affluent fishery business owners, as well as fish-farm owners of monopolising the fishery business.

Than Shwe, a supposed fishery worker in Danupyu Township, said: “The minister [Ba Hein for agriculture and livestock] allowed us last year to auction fish farms under Ks 3 million. We made some profit that way. We support the minister’s decision. But now, some business owners have opposed the arrangement, claiming it is against the law. The price rose to Ks 4 million. We auctioned 20 per cent of the under-Ks 3 million fish farms last year. Now we want to auction 60 per cent. That’s why we are demonstrating.”

Fishery business owners staged a protest against small-scale fishery workers on May 30, claiming letting fishery workers auction fish farms was against the law and demanded the dismissal of the regional minister Ba Hein.

Ba Hein responded that what he did was in line with the law.

Source : Eleven Myanmar