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Maharashtra: Exposed at sea, fishers need better insurance to manage climate risks by Flavia Lopes October 15,2021   |  Source: India Spend

Rufino Possa, 52, a fisher from Uttan, a coastal village in north Mumbai, returned home on October 2, after 12 days at sea, four days more than he planned. The rough seas churned up by Cyclone Gulab towards the end of September meant that he could not find any catch. "Each trip costs us more than Rs 1 lakh, we cannot afford to come back without any catch," he said.

Possa, like others of the fishing community, is still to recover from the losses caused by the pandemic. But their problem is further aggravated by the frequent and intense cyclones and torrential rains that have been battering India's coastline over the last few years. When Possa and his 12-member crew now launch their boats, they are not sure they will return home safely. A few days ago, one of his friends lost a member of his crew at sea. The body was later found floating at a harbour in Palghar district, around 80 km north of Uttan. "I have been in the fishing business for the last 30 years but have never faced so much loss and damage at sea as I have in the last few years," said Possa. Unexpected summer rains this year also damaged Rs 2-lakh worth of fish he had put out to dry.

Leo Colaco runs a fishing co-operative society in Uttan, the Uttan Machimar Vikas Society Ltd. Its 115 members now frequently seek

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