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Days after Cyclone Fani hit Odisha coast, quest for livelihood pushes fishermen to migrate to faraway lands by Rishika Pardikar May 17,2019   |  Source: News18.com

When cyclone Fani - one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent - made landfall on the coast of Odisha this month, in the rubble of destruction that it left behind was the livelihood of an entire fishing community.

According to initial government estimates, about 6,389 traditional marine fishing boats, 7,240 nets, 2,524 fish ponds of area 587 hectare, three fishing harbours, six fish landing centres and five fish farms have been damaged in the storm. However, according to Debashish Shyamal, Secretary of National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), a trade union of fishermen, the ground assessments about the impact of loss are usually far from accurate.

Speaking about those affected, Sudarshan Chhotoray, director of the Focus Odisha foundation said that there are about 50 fishing settlements in Odisha that comprise of about 1,50,000 traditional fishermen who have no alternate source of livelihood.


What’s more is that the lives of fishermen in districts like Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara are routinely ravaged by cyclones, Chhotoray pointed out, as he drew a reference to storms like Titli and Phailin that hit the Odisha coast in the past.

Generally, a fishing net costs about Rs 40,000 and the price of a fishing boat ranges between Rs

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