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Issue No:74
  • :August
  • :2016

Sandcastle

On an empty beach
in sunlight
I built my castle
the wind was my architect
together we sculpted
soft curves from the dunes
I found ribbons of seaweed
sprawling like handwriting
in the tideline of debris
washed from the sea of knowledge
with these I garlanded the walls
I made a roof from shells
that giggled stories about crabby hermits
and boring barnacles
someone has spilt black
tar on my castle
ink black sticky stains
that burn where they touch me
that burn
—Gabriellr Maughan

COMMENT

Redeeming Small-scale Fishers


Greater visibility and recognition of inland fisheries could redeem small-scale fishers and fishworkers from being amongst the most impoverished class of community


Nearly 150 years ago, Francis Day, the colonial Inspector General of fisheries in British India, wrote in his famous Report of the Fresh Water Fish and Fisheries of India and Burma that freshwater fishermen were amongst the most impoverished class of community, and were, as a result, seeking employment outside the subsector as railway and agriculture labourers and as petty traders.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that 60 mn people—half of them, women—are fully or partially dependent on inland, small-scale fisheries in streams, rivers,  lakes, reservoirs, floodplains and other wetlands, including rice fields and swamp lands, spread over 10 mn sq km worldwide, especially in Asia and Africa. They harvest nearly 12 mn tonnes of fish—which was 5 mn tonnes in 1980—at a value of US$9 bn (see article, page 4), providing a rich source of micronutrients, essential protein, vitamins and fats, particularly to disadvantaged local communities.

The current estimates of inland capture fishery production, although more than doubled...

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