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CONSTANT DUMPING OF INDUSTRIAL AFFLUENTS AFFECTS FISHERFOLK LIVELIHOOD

fishflok-4Reclamation of coastal land and constant dumping of industrial affluents into the sea has impacted the flora life inadvertently affected the lives of the Koli community. The Koli community is facing a lot of problem due to the dwindling flora life which is the basis of their livelihood. Maharashtra’s 720-km long coastline is shrinking – in terms of possibility and opportunity – for the Koli community. From Versova to Worli and Khar Danda to Cuffe Parade, fishermen lament how upto Rs 80,000 is wasted on diesel costs and sundry expenses for extended, week-long fishing trips in search of the practically non-existent catch. Previous generations of Kolis seldom had to stray far from the shore or cruise inland in search of fertile patches for a catch that was a feast for the eyes but today the situation is the opposite. The reclamation of coastal land and the constant dumping of industrial effluents into the sea since the 1960s have resulted in this dwindling returns. Claiming that the agriculture department was doing nothing for fishermen, the Koli community pointed out how the compensation for a fisherman’s death at sea was Rs 1 lakh which is as much as the cost of a single, week-long fishing trip. Another problem that the fishermen face is the overfishiing of greedy foreign trawlers who scrape the sea-bed throughout the year and destroy the habitat. With the Mumbai shoreline which was once home to bigsized, tasty fish of many varieties, has now been reduced to a cesspool, suffocating the Koli community, it is small wonder that fisherfolk are now discouraging their youngsters from entering the trade. With cameraperson, Ajaz Khan for NMTV News.

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