Fishermen in Southern India

In January 2016, I visited the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. I produced two feature stories for the Finnish radio.

I met local fishermen whose livelihoods are being threatened by climate change and overfishing. One of the local fisherman, a man by the name of Salum, told me he’s been fishing for 40 years, but is now struggling to support his wife and three kids.

24441515495_f68109835e_k
24073749229_d61e382653_k
24145910270_1b659e9d07_k

The fish stock has been depleted to a large part due to government sanctioned overfishing. India has heavily subsidized industrial fishing methods such as trawling, which is banned in Europe.

In the nearby city of Kanyakumari, the men operating the trawlers claim that it is a viscous circle: They need bigger boats to get to where the fish are, and this keeps driving the fish farther and farther. So far, in fact, that the Indian fisherman have been arrested for entering Sri Lankan waters.

24145923930_c132510ace_k
24333259782_b53e6c6700_k
24415311296_02ac56477f_k
24415325046_bc52bcdf4d_k
24441532155_1597531126_k

The difficulties caused by overfishing are compounded by climate change that makes predicting weather patterns more challenging. Climate change has caused a significant change in fish behavior, as rising sea temperatures have resulted in the fish moving to new habitats.

Here’s a link to one of my radio pieces (in Finnish): http://areena.yle.fi/1-3190766?start=40m50s