Empty Sea Syndrome

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Overfishing and unsustainable practices are causing fish to disappear from the world’s oceans at unprecedented rates. Pooja Rathod and Tiasa Adhya interact with fishermen in Malvan along the Maharashtra coast to learn about the impact of trawlers and the exploitation of dwindling marine resources.

“Pannas… don hazaar saahashe… paan she sattar!” The bidding calls started at Rs. 50 and reached Rs. 5,000. The monsoon month of July notwithstanding, trade was brisk inside the fish auction market in Malvan, a small Read More

Otters in a Famous Tourist Destination

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Beaches and sunsets are what come to mind when most people think of Goa. This small state in western India has earned its reputation as one of the most favoured top tourist destinations. But very few know that Goa also has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Much of the eastern rim of Goa falls within the Western Ghats (a global biodiversity hotspot). Goa has an area of 3,702 sq.km with several rivers spread across the state, all of … Read More

Declining Indian Fisheries: Perceptions of Fisher Folk from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu

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Although over four million people worldwide are dependent on wild-caught fish as a source of protein, marine fish are not at the top of the conservation radar. Although fish are among the most important components of marine ecosystems after plankton, they are most seriously threatened by human activities in the sea. In recognition of this fact, fisheries across the world are being managed based on estimates of sustainable harvest rates for each population of fish. However this requires intensive data … Read More

Something Fishy — Emptying India’s Seas

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Marine organisms are frequently seen as resources that can be used or extracted seemingly limitlessly. They certainly do not come to mind as wildlife, which are in need of as much protection as terrestrial creatures, if not more. Mindless fishing or harvesting, combined with unsustainable methods, have wreaked havoc on marine systems. Seafood encompasses any sea life that is fit for consumption by humans, and additionally marine organisms are used as ‘resources’ in a variety of ways – as pets, … Read More

Coexistence of River Dolphins with Fisheries in India

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Authors Nachiket Kelkar, Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Sunil Choudhary, and Dipani Sutaria have investigated the distribution of the Gangetic River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and correlated their abundance with fishing activity to find if there can be successful coexistence of fisheries and conservation of the dolphins. These are the highlights of a paper that was published in Conservation Biology in 2009.

The present state of rivers in India is dismal. Pollution and intensive fishing pose a serious threat to most river and … Read More

Marsh Crocodile Dead In Fishing Net, Chambal River

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Fishing is a big activity in the National Chambal Sanctuary (that extends over three Indian states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh). Reptiles (even mammals and birds) get entangled in the nets and drown while trying to catch a fish already entangled in the nets. Every year many Gharials and Marsh Crocodiles get entangled in the fishing nets and die. Several scientific studies have shown that a number of aquatic mammals, birds and reptiles, accorded with highly protected status … Read More

A Longline Fishing Victim from Indian Pelagic Waters

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Longline fishing is a commercial oceanic fishing technique which uses a long line, called the main line, with baited hooks attached at intervals by means of branch lines called snoods. A snood is a short length of line, attached to the main line using a clip or swivel, with the hook at the other end. Hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks can hang from a single line (Wikipedia). In India, there are top-driven programmes to promoting this technique to … Read More

Mugger Entangled in a Fishnet, Ranganthittu

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My friends and I visited the Ranganthittu Sanctuary, near Mysore, Karnataka, on the afternoon on July 6th. We noticed this mugger, lying on a rock in the river when we were taken for a boat ride in the sanctuary. It had a nylon fishing net and twigs stuck into its mouth, and seemed to be feeling uncomfortable. It was struggling to get rid of the net and twigs. When we tried to approach it to have a closer look, the … Read More

The Dangers of Fishing Near Sanctuaries

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I took this photograph of a Chital Stag with a fishing net entangled in its antlers, at Kabini in Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarahole on March 7, 2012. I feel that fishing with nets in the catchment areas is endangering the lives of animals and this photograph proves the point. The deer was photographed in the park, therefore it can probably be assumed that the net got entangled inside the boundaries of the park, most probably in the shallow waters … Read More