Fishermen Agitation (1984-1985) In Kerala

  • S. Sreelekshmi Research scholar in history University of kerala, palayam, trivandrum.
Keywords: Mukkuvas ,Pattayam, Latin Catholic, Matsya Thozhilali, Needakara, dharna, mechanized.


The article examines the Origins and development of Fishermen Agitation in Kerala and its results. It describes the Nuns, Priests and many Fishermen Federations played a prominent role in the agitation as organizes, demonstrators and hunger strikers. The congress-led coalition Ministry during the monsoon session of 1984, was paralyzed by the fish worker’s agitation in Kerala. The Catholic Fish workers in Kerala coast had traditionally been having strong ties with the Church. A Priest in the Church naturally performs a multidimensional role in religious, social, economic and political affairs. Hence the Catholic Church playing an important role in the daily life of the fish workers and to fetched them into the political and social life of Kerala for years. The Kerala coast witnessed a sea change in the fishing industry by the introduction of the Into- Norwegian Project in 1953, ensuing in a social revolution in the coastal areas in the following years. The new influxes had been using trawlers and purse-seine nets, close to the coast demolishing the very eco-system of the sea, facing a critical problem of dislodgment from their traditional occupations because of the capitalist’s intrusion in the fishing sector.  The origin of 1984 agitation of fish workers can be traced back to 1980, demanding prohibition of trawling during monsoon season and earning their rights. It concludes the ban on trawling widened the hostility of the traditional fish workers and boat-owners. But now the contention of both sections have under gone changes due to the joint stakes in deep-sea fishing.


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