Yemaya

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Issue No.26
  • :0973-1156
  • :November
  • :2007

This issue of Yemaya brings together articles from various parts of the world that examine some of the central issues in marine protection, particularly as it impacts women.

Asia/ India

Restricting Lives and Livelihoods

The recent enforcement of ‘no-take’ regulations in the Gulf of Mannar National Park compromises the livelihood security of fisherwomen and local communities

By Ramya Rajagopalan, currently researching marine protected areas for a Master of Marine Affairs degree at the University of Rhode Island, USA


The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park and Biosphere Reserve, located in the state of Tamil Nadu in south India, consists of a group of 21 islands. The government of Tamil Nadu declared the area as a marine national park in 1986, under the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972. The total area under the Gulf of Mannar National Park (GOMNP) is 560 sq km. The WLPA does not allow any kind of extractive use inside the national park, thus effectively making it a ‘no-take’ zone. The biosphere reserve, notified later in 1989, covers a larger area of 10,500 sq km and includes the GOMNP as the core zone.

The GOMNP is spread across two administrative districts of Tamil Nadu, Ramanathapuram and Tuticorin, with a coastal length of 304.5km. The fisher population is estimated at over 200,000. There are 35,000 active fishermen and 10,000 fisherwomen dep