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Issue No:83
  • :0976 1121
  • :September
  • :2020

Samudra Report No.83, September 2020



A Twisted Trajectory

The fish-processing industry’s path of using fishmeal to grow shrimp amounts to exporting the precious nutrition that India’s children badly need

This article is by Joeri Scholtens ( and Karuppiah Subramanian (, both from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Amalendu Jyotishi (, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, India

In the early morning of 25 September 2019, on the shores of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, India, the humble sardine commenced its journey. The journey of its afterlife, that is.

A group of women waited together, empty baskets in hand, chatting while waiting for the boats to arrive. Their expectations do not remain unanswered. Boats bulging with little shiny sardines return from calm seas. Boats carrying sardines, along with their histories of struggle. Big trawlers, small trawlers, ring seines, fibreglass boats: everyone has been scooping up schools of sardine today.

The women are eagerly waiting for a good auction, hoping to take some sardines to their loyal customers and earn a livelihood. Their customers are waiting to make a sumptuous fish curry of the sardines, keeping a little aside to be fried. Tasty curries, destined to...

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