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Gujarat: Once a Hilsa trove, this Gujarat village now struggles to find catch by Avinash Nair June 07,2019   |  Source: The Indian Express

Till five years ago, Santosh Machhi (30) used to catch up to 100 Hilsa fish a day from the Narmada that flows past his Bhadbhut village in Gujarat’s Bharuch district before opening out into the Gulf of Khambhat. Last year, his average daily catch never exceeded 10.

“My father and I own a boat and we caught all kinds of fishes from Narmada, which is worshipped as a Goddess in our village. Between July and September, Hilsa dominated our catch and brought us good returns. Not anymore,” said Santosh, who also plies an autorickshaw to ferry passengers to Bharuch city, about 25 km away. “There is hardly any fresh water in Narmada today. The water you see is seawater that has gushed in due to high tide,” he added. Hilsa, a marine fish much coveted in Bengali cuisine, migrates into the Narmada estuary to spawn and its peak upstream migration happens between July and August and continues till late November.

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)