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Tamil Nadu: A sea of troubles: Fish vendors in Tamil Nadu staring into abyss post lockdown June 22,2020   |  Source: The New Indian Express

Balaraman was just sixteen when he first ‘went to the sea’. Over the last three-and-a-half decades of his life as a fisherman, never has he stayed away from the ocean this long. “Even when the Indian Ocean Tsunami came in 2004, we kept away only for a couple of months. Now it has been around four months since we ventured into the sea. This is the longest I have stayed away,” says the 52-year-old fisherman from Kasimedu. Many businesses, traders, and vendors have been hit by the several spells of intensive and not-so-intensive lockdowns in the State, but none suffered as much as the fishermen.

In between these various spells, almost all other commercial activities got a breather of few days, to earn a few bucks or collect pending salaries. Thanks to the fishing ban that came into effect mid-April and lasted till the first week of June, those dependant on fishing were deprived of even that tiny window of relief. Later, even as they started limping back to normalcy, yet another lockdown has dealt a brutal blow. Visuals that went viral on Friday – of a fish vendor throwing tonnes of fresh catch into a dumpster in Villivakkam after the city corporation, in a late-evening move, banned trade during the lockdown period – encapsulates the pain they have been going

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