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Issue No:75
  • :January
  • :2017

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
—a Native American saying


Development Refugees

Fishworker representatives from seven states of India converged at Kolkata to discuss the creation of a National Platform for Small-scale Fish Workers (Inland)

This report is by Pradip Chatterjee (, Chief Co-ordinator of Direct Initiative for Social and Health Action (DISHA), West Bengal, India

For the 20 mn strong population of small-scale fishing communities working on inland fisheries in India, 20-21 September 2016 proved to be days of immense importance. Fishworker representatives from seven states converged at Kolkata and pledged to fight jointly to end the marginalization and deprivation of small-sale fishing communities and also to end the destruction of water bodies and fish resources.

India is gifted with vast and varied inland water bodies that bear rich fish resources. Rivers and canals, reservoirs, ponds and tanks, oxbow lakes, wetlands, backwaters and estuaries yield 6.14 mn tonnes of fish which is more than 64 per cent of the total fish production of the country. The sector sustains about 4 mn fishworkers and a total population of around 20 mn.

Still, the potential of inland fishery resources is far from fully utilized. It is estimated that less than 10 per cent of the country’s...

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