Maha: Traditional fishing becomes source of livelihood for jobless

NewsDrum Desk
22 Nov 2022

Malvan (Maha), Nov 22 (PTI) The `Rampon' fishermen of Vayari in Maharashtra's coastal Sindhudurg district are overjoyed as they have landed a catch exceeding 12 tonnes after almost three years.

Rampon or traditional, non-mechanized fishing has become a source of livelihood for the unemployed residents of the village, especially after the coronavirus pandemic hit the job market.

The fishermen at Vayari in Malvan tehsil use traditional fishing nets. Getting a good catch is becoming more and more difficult, they say, because of overfishing by mechanized trawlers and the impact of climate change.

But on Sunday, they got lucky when a bumper catch of sardines and mackerel landed in their nets.

“We managed to catch at least 12-13 tonnes of fish. But this is an extremely rare event. We have caught fish on this scale after a gap of almost three years,” said Dilip Ghare, secretary of the Sindhudurg District Rampon Sanghatana.

There are 108 Rampon associations in the Sindhudurg district alone. As many as 27,000 families are associated with these associations.

Malvan tehsil has 56 such associations. Some 12,000 people engaged in traditional fishing are attached to them, Ghare said.

Though non-mechanised fishing is becoming less profitable, it is still a valuable source of employment.

Narayan Mayekar, now in his late 70s, lost his job when the 109-year-old Century Textiles mill in Mumbai closed down two decades ago.

Mayekar returned to Vayari and became a fisherman.

For many locals who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, traditional fishing became a source of livelihood, he says.

Rupesh Talawnekar, another resident of the village, has completed his graduation, but he found employment in traditional fishing. He says a fifth of those engaged in traditional fishing in the area are educated youngsters like him who can not find jobs in the cities.

In the village, more than 50 persons are involved in Rampon fishing.

Fishermen go out to the sea at night in their non-mechanised canoes and spread the nets and return.

They again set out at 4 am and pull in the nets to gather the catch. Most of it is sent to Bengaluru, Hubballi and Goa from where it is exported.

“You can earn around Rs 15,000-20,000 per month," Talawnekar said. PTI RPS KRK KRK KRK

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