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Pakistan: As cold sends others home, ‘matka fishers’ stay hot on the trail of catch by Jan Khaskheli November 20,2020   |  Source: The News

With the winter slowly taking its chilling hold of the region, most of the fishermen living around Keenjhar Lake, a major freshwater body in Sindh, have hung their nets; however, some of the more ambitious ones have gone ‘matka fishing’ to keep their kitchens warm. Matka (literally pitcher) fishing is a practice in which fishermen use floating copper pitchers to catch fish in this season to earn little income for their survival. Sajid Ali Gandro, a fisherman, said each worker using this unique practice could catch three-10kg fish daily, which was enough for earning a modest income. Keenjhar Lake is spread over around 109 sq-km, where people at 12 Mayanis (fishermen localities with landing sites) have been fishing through generations. Floating copper pitcher has a capacity to hold 20-25kg fish. It is quite a risky way to catch fish. Mostly, these fishermen, using floating tools take fish from the nets and move to their jetties where they keep stock. They are swimmers and remain careful, while taking fish from nets. Because in any mishap or carelessness they can miss the tool in the deep water and face difficulties.

Currently the rates of fish at jetties are ranging from Rs300 to Rs800/kg depending on value of species. Some of the fish species have more demand in the cities

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