On the wane

Published: Wednesday 31 March 2004

A dwindling tribe (Credit: Kali Mishra / CSE)Fishing is fast becoming a less preferred means of livelihood in Orissa. This trend came to light after the Orissa Traditional Fish Workers Union and non-governmental organisation Samudram conducted a door-to-door survey on active fisherfolk in the state.

The study showed a drastic decline in the population of fisherfolk. Over the past 12 years, nearly 30,000 fisherfolk out of 80,000 had to abandon their profession and migrate to Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa. They now work as porters and deckhands on mechanised boats. The shift has taken place because of diminishing returns as a result of depleting fish population, encroachments by non-traditional fisherfolk and shrinking of fishing areas due to turtle conservation.

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