The fishing communities have been fishing for decades, even before independence. The Indian Fisheries Act,1897 deals with fishing laws in India. Other laws such as-

  • Environmental protection Act,1986
  • Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1974
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

Have been used to protect environmental pollution arising out of fishing. They have been certain restrictions in terms of fishing. Fishing has been a source of income for the fishing communities and keeping this in mind, India has launched the National Fisheries Development Board, 2006 its objective being-

  • aquaculture in ponds,
  • fisheries development in reservoirs,
  • deep sea fishing.

However, the livelihood of these people had also gone down. Article 21 of the constitution has recognised right to livelihood as a fundamental right, however, there has been an infringement of this right and the community has been neglected. This right was recognised in the case of Olga Tellis V. Bombay Municipal Corporation. This case is also known as the pavement Dwellers case.

The Annual Executive Committee meeting of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) was held on 11th and 12th of August,2016 made the following decisions-

  • Fishermen should be listed and recognised as Scheduled Tribes
  • As par with Agriculture, Fishing should also be recognised by the Union Government
  • Gears which are destructive should be banned by the central and the state government, such as all bottom trawling nets and, purse seine.
  • Rights of traditional fisherwomen to have fish markets must be legalised.
  • Disposing of city garbage which is permitted by the state and central government must be stopped immediately.