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Livelihood of fishermen under threat in Bangladesh by S Dilip Roy March 26,2020   |  Source: The Daily Star

Hundreds of fishermen in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat are going through hard times as fish stocks in the Brahmaputra and Teesta rivers have drastically decreased over the years. With their traditional livelihood failing to provide for their families, many fishermen have taken loans at high interest from local moneylenders. "Usually, a group of four or five of us fishermen goes together to the river. After trying for hours, we get around five kilograms of fish," said 46-year-old Sadhan Chandra Das of Majhipara village in Kurigram's Chilmari upazila. "The situation worsens from December to June as the water level falls. We have no work during this period," said Sadhan, who fishes in the Brahmaputra.

Bishnu Chandra Das, a 56-year-old fisherman from the same village, said, "We are unable to provide for our families with the money we earn from fishing. So, we have to take loans from the Mohajon (moneylender) with high interest." "We have to repair our fishing boats and nets at our own expense. So you can easily understand our misery," he added.

Hit hard by poverty, many have already left their ancestral profession and others are planning to leave. "Many fishermen in our village have already left and are now working as day labourers, some pull rickshaws, and others work in garment

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