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Indian fisherfolk transitioning away from tradition is affecting fisheries nationwide October 09,2019   |  Source: The Conversation

India’s vast coastline — more than 8,000 kilometres long — is a rich fishing ground. It supports a thriving marine fisheries industry, which contributes to the country’s food security while supporting about four million fisherfolk and their families.

The face of India’s marine fishing, however, has been changing over the past few decades. Once dominated by small-scale and artisanal fisherfolk who fished mostly for subsistence, marine fishing has now become commercial and industrialized with bigger vessels such as trawlers and purse seines catching larger volumes of fish at one go. Often, this transition from traditional to commercial fishing has led to the disgruntlement of the local fishing communities.

In some parts of the world, commercial large-scale fisheries use migrant labour from different parts of the same, or a different, country. These migrant workers — sometimes trafficked and enslaved — make for cheap labour and have been known to live in deplorable conditions aboard the fishing vessels.

The Thai fishing industry, for example, is replete with stories of horrifying practices. Media reports have shed light on how labour used aboard Thai fishing vessels frequently hail from other countries like Cambodia, lured across borders by traffickers.

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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