Samudra Report

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Issue No:1
  • :March
  • :1988

issue no:1

REPORTS

Nalini reports on her recent tour of fisheries In France.

The region that James Smith and I visited in France was the Bigoudin area of Brittany. There lives a breed of fisherfolk who, as Henri Manis observes, are strong, warm-blooded characters with unsurpassed pride and a great sense of affection— qualities, which they share in common with their peers in India. Henri is a ‘senior’ priest and former dockworker at the fishing port. He’s a lively man with a strong sense of humour who gets on well with people. He took us around with an air of great confidence, anxious less we miss anything important, eager that we make contact with people and sample delicious Breton sea-food.

We spent a whole day with Louis Leroux, the former president of the Guilvinec Fishermen’s Committee, and an active unionist. He spent his entire working life on a 38’ trawler, where he has now been succeeded by his son. These are the ‘small fishermen’, men who have inherited a long seafaring tradition and who make up a distinct community similar to fishing communities in India.

The fishing unit comprises the ‘Patron’ (owner-skipper) and five to eight workers. This number has fallen from the fifteen of 25 years ago in order to make operations commercially viable. Earnings are...

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