Fishermen oppose ‘Blue flag’ beach

Fishermen oppose ‘Blue flag’ beach

A view of Padubidri beach

“We do not want a Blue Flag certification for the beach. We are fishermen and need only a fisheries port. Let the government come forward to set up a port,” said Kadipattana and Nadipattana fishermen.

They were speaking during a meeting convened by the district administration to elicit opinion on the Blue Flag project at Padubidri on Friday.

Tourism department assistant director Anitha Bhaskar said, “The Padubidri beach is one among the 13 beaches selected for a Blue Flag certification. The project will not inconvenience the local fishermen. The beach will be developed by the Central government. As part of it, the development work will be initiated on a one-acre government land at Muttavalive on the Hejamady-Padubidri stretch. The land belonging to the fishermen will not be acquired. The Blue Flag certification will benefit
the local residents.”

The ‘Blue Flag’ certification is given by the Foundation for Environmental Education for a beach, a marina or a sustainable boating tourism operator.

The criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria.

Opposing it, the fishermen said, “We will be inconvenienced after the development of the beach. We are already facing a lot of hardship owing to UPCL. We do not want further problems. Don’t develop the beach. Let the government set up a port.”

In fact, the fishermen had sent the officials from the Tourism department and the village accountant, who had come forward, to carry out the survey at Kadipattana
and Nadipattana on Wednesday.