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Bangladesh's fishermen struggle as cyclone threat grows by Rafiqul Islam/Thomson Reuters Foundation March 11,2019   |  Source: The Peninsula

Abul Kalam Maji has been catching fish in the Bay of Bengal for 30 years but an uptick in cyclone warnings, as warming seas bring stronger storms, is making his job much harder.

He and other fishermen in this village in southern Bangladesh's delta islands now must stay off the water up to half of the month during the storm season, in response to warnings that fishing could be perilous.

"I never saw such an increased number of cyclone warnings in the past. Now we cannot go to sea for 10 to 15 days every month on average during the summer and monsoon,” the 64-year-old told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Fishermen rarely ignore the warnings, he said, as most have first-hand experience with cyclones.

Two years ago, he remembers, while at sea, his crew received a cyclone warning urging them to head to shore.

"But it was too late. Our fishing boat was hit by the cyclone before reaching shore and we were stuck on a small island, 40 kilometres off to the coast," he said.

Only the next day did they manage to extract their boat and reach home, he said.

Bangladesh, widely seen as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, sees cyclones hit its coastal areas almost every year, usually in early summer or the late-year rainy season - and the numbers are

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