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Tamil Nadu: A little village in southern India may have the secret to sustainable shark fishing November 25,2019   |  Source: Quartz India

Around 15 fishermen from Chinnathurai village, in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, gathered near the imposing St. Jude’s church in the village, watching as their friend and colleague Jeevadasan spoke. “In our village, deep sea fishing is the favourite (occupation). Before there was any equipment, compass, GPS anything, even in those times, deep sea fishing has been our favourite,” Jeevadasan said. “They say that the best fishermen in the world are from this village.” Jeevadasan’s pronouncements invited much laughter and ribbing from his friends, but Chinnathurai and seven other villages—Vallavillai, Eraviputhenthurai, Poothurai, Erayumanthurai, Marthandanthurai, Neerodi and Thoothoor—collectively called the Thoothoor mandalam (zone), are known for fishermen that make long oceanic journeys for sura vettai, or shark fishing in Tamil.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimated that until 2018, of the 26 shark fishing nations in the world, India ranked second in the volume of sharks caught annually and contributed about 9% to the total catch. In 2019, India was the third-largest shark catching nation in the world. But very few of the four million people in India whose livelihood depends on marine fisheries go looking specifically for sharks,

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