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Report of the National Workshop on Small-scale Fisheries, Cyclone Ockhi and Disaster Risk Management 29 to 30 May, 2018, Kerala, India
  • :2018
  • :Report prepared by Ahana Lakshmi
  • :66
  • :978 93 80802 72 5
Abstract

National Workshop on Small-scale Fisheries, Cyclone Ockhi and Disaster Risk Management was held on 28 to 29 May, 2018 at Thiruvananthapuram. The workshop was organised by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) Trust with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The workshop was attended by a large number of distinguished participants, including fishworker organisations, government officials, academics, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and the disaster affected community. Representatives from FAO and the Bay of Bengal Programme Inter-Governmental Organisation (BOBP-IGO) also attended the programme. On 29 November 2017, a deep depression, detected in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka, rapidly intensified into a cyclonic storm off the coast of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Union Territory of Lakshadweep Islands. Cyclone Ockhi, as it was named, took the life of a number of fishers, injured many and destroyed fishing vessels and gear.

Session 1: Inaugural Session

Dr. John Kurien, Managing Trustee, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) Trust, chaired the session, which began with a minute’s silence to pay homage to lives lost during Cyclone Ockhi.

Welcome Address

Ms. Nalini Nayak, Trustee, ICSF Trust, welcomed the participants, saying that the workshop was organised to avert disasters of this magnitude in the future, despite the advent of climate change and its effects on cyclonic activity. She thanked the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for supporting the workshop and then introduced the speakers of the session. She noted that the workshop participants include not only government officials and fishworker organisations, but also members of the disaster affected community interviewed for ICSF Trust’s study.

Overview of the Workshop

Mr. Sebastian Mathew, Executive Trustee, ICSF Trust, contextualizing the disaster and the workshop, said that Cyclone Ockhi was a sudden-onset disaster that wreaked havoc at sea and almost all the victims were either short- or long-haul fishers on board vessels from Kanniyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram districts. They mostly operated in clusters but were scattered by Cyclone Ockhi. Many of the affected mechanised vessels were registered in Tamil Nadu,...