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ICSF documentary on women seaweed collectors wins prize at film festival September 04,2012   |  Source: ICSF/Merrinews/Jeevika

A documentary film on women seaweed collectors, titled "Shifting Undercurrents: Seaweeds Collectors of Gulf of Mannar", directed by Rita Banerji for the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), has won the second prize at the 9th Annual Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival held on Sunday 2 September 2012 at the India Habitat Centre, Delhi.

"Shifting Undercurrents" is a moving account of women divers/seaweed collectors struggling to regain a hold on their much-curtailed activities in the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park off the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu.

Each morning, the women ride out into the Gulf of Mannar waters as first light begins to brighten the skies overhead. Arriving, they take a deep breath and dive into the cloudy waters to handpick seaweed. They have been pursuing this activity undisturbed until recent years.

Since 2000, all resource use inside the national park has been halted. Despite the continued presence of large-scale industrial pollution, overfishing and even commercial seaweed cultivation, enforcement efforts target small-scale livelihood efforts by the local communities such as the seaweed collectors. These 5,000-odd women free-dive with minimal equipment, to handpick a few abundant species of wild seaweed to

Theme(s): Coastal Ecosystems and Threats.

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