Photos and Article by Partha Pratim Saha
There is a place named “Gongoni” in the state of West Bengal in INDIA. There is a beautiful rain-fed river named “Shilaboti”. The fishermen depend on this river for fishing in the rainy season. In other seasons, this river dries up due to insufficient rainfall. As the climate is changing in our place the average rainfall is reducing. The fishermen are unable to use their boats for fishing in the shallow water in the dry seasons. Instead, they have to go down to the river bed and use hand nets for fishing in the traditional way. This fetches them only a quarter of their usual rainy season harvest. The less they catch the less they earn. Thus, income of these poor fishermen decreases whenever there is less rainfall and they suffer from a great financial distress. Environmental impacts like declining water quality in turn encourage more sustainable practices like netting to live on, with many fishermen becoming aware of the impacts of their practices and choosing to use these traditional hand nets, often made with indigenous fibers.
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