Covid-19 lockdown adds to woes of climate-hit Indian fishers -Sharada Balasubramanian and Jency Samuel
Fisheries markets collapsed in the first days of the lockdown, impoverishing hundreds of thousands of small fishers, and recovery is nowhere in sight
When Pradip Chatterjee, president of Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum (South Bengal Fishers’ Forum – DMF), starts talking about the problems that plague small scale fishers in West Bengal, there is no stopping him. He finds a multitude of issues that confront them, from climate change to Covid-19. DMF is a member of the small scale fish workers union, an all-India collective of small scale inland and marine fishers as well as allied workers.
The lockdown being implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19 has affected the day-to-day livelihood of small fishers. “Lockdown in many areas forcibly shut down the fishing activities. There is severe disruption in the supply chain. So even if we fish, we cannot sell the catch,” said Chatterjee.
Inland and marine fishers have all been severely affected by climate change and pollution, with the lockdown adding to their woes. It has hit an industry where marine fishers alone produced 3.69 million metric tons in 2018, when statistics were last compiled by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). That was already down over 6% from the 2012 catch of 3.94 million metric tons. of catch in 2012. There is no reliable estimate of production by inland fisheries.
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TheThirdPole.net, 14 May, 2020, https://www.thethirdpole.net/2020/05/14/covid-19-lockdown-adds-to-woes-of-climate-hit-indian-fishers/