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Kerala: Fisherfolk are still at sea over their livelihoods by Ritu Maria Johny July 21,2021   |  Source: The Hindu Business Line

Mumbai, July 20 James Kalathil*, a fisherman from Thuravoor, has pondered over leaving this profession many a time in the past few months. During the last lockdown, he was compelled to go to work by taking a secretive route to avoid the police checkpoints, which helped to bring in some money during an otherwise dry period. He managed to go for ‘neetu pani’ - individuals or groups of two or three people venture into the sea on a ‘ponthu’ - amid the lockdown. Few others were not so ‘fortunate’ enough to go for such clandestine work, like Sebastian Maliekal, who has remained at home for the past one and a half months with no means to earn an income. The fisher communities of Chellanam and Thuravoor gram panchayats of Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts, respectively, are an aggrieved lot. With just over 40 working days in the past year, compared to 200 days of work in a normal year, the fisheries sector is staring at an estimated loss of Rs.1,371 crore, as per an assessment by the Kerala State Planning Board. The sector was plagued by multiple problems like cyclones and floods, which significantly brought down the number of days of work, even before the onset of the pandemic. While the fisher families were slowly limping back to make both ends meet, the second wave of



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