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.
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.
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