Where have the fish gone?

“We will have to move out of fishwork, eventually, but someone else will come. The business will not die as long as there are fish in the sea. How long the fish will be there, remains to be seen” Abdullaha Pirjada, Jakhau Fishing Harbour.

Across the state of Gujarat, economic process put in motion since the 70s has impacted the fishing community and their livelihood. Based on field work over a period of two years in late 2015 and mid 2017, this study analyses development that have taken place in Gujarat, with a focus on coastal and marine ecology and the devastating impacts of pollution on its coast. The report concerns itself with the fishworker community in Gujarat and their future.

Thus, section one focuses on the growth of industrialization, current industrial patterns, the parallel changes in the demography of the traditional fishing community and the changing pattern of fisheries since the 1980s. Section two is based on the field work which outlines regional and localized impacts that years of industrialization have had on fishing communities. It proves that large-scale pollution due to industrialization has severely affected coastal ecology and degraded coastal areas. It has led to depletion of marine resources leading to the migration and displacement of fishing communities. The study covers four fishing villages of South Gujarat, one fishing harbor of Saurashtra Coast and four fishing villages across the district of Kutch. With the increasing usage of coastal land for industry across the country, the study suggests what the future of the Indian coast could be.

Programme for Social Action (PSA), New Delhi conducted the research and the report was edited by The Research Collective (TRC) team of PSA. This project has been supported by Heinrich Böll Foundation, New Delhi.

Product details
Date of Publication
November 2017
Programme for Social Action (PSA)
Number of Pages
All rights reserved
Language of publication
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