Keeping Fishermen Afloat After the Tsunami
Zenit News Agency – Rome,Italy
The initiative is in response to the fall in the price of fish since Dec. 26, when the tsunami struck the coasts of countries of the Indian Ocean, killing more than 175,000 people and destroying the means of subsistence of countless families.
The campaign is also countering the fear of millions of consumers that the fish in the area are contaminated.
Directed by the Apostleship of the Sea and reported by the information service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, the campaign hopes to dissipate these fears, as they are groundless, and to encourage the purchase of fish as the best way to help peoples affected by the tsunami.
In an e-mail promoting the campaign, Father Xavier Pinto, coordinator of the Apostleship of the Sea in Southeast Asia, said: “If you have stopped eating fish these days, maybe you need not contribute to any Tsunami Fund at all.”
“If you don’t eat fish because of fear of contamination, you may be in the category of those who are building up forces for an economic ‘tsunami’ that will lead to their condemnation and slow death,” he warned.
The priest assailed rumors among consumers about dead fish on the shores of other countries. Such false reports are “detrimental to the very livelihood of the people you wish to reach out to,” the e-mail stresses.
Father Pinto emphasized that the dead fish in the coasts of other countries do not affect the fish being sold in India and Sri Lanka. Moreover, the fish that are coming to market now are not from the tsunami-affected areas, because no serious fishing activities have taken place in the affected areas of the two countries over the past two weeks.