There’s No Fish In The Sea
Photo by Selvaprakash Lakshmanan
Johnson knows hunger well. A fisherman from Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, he is one of the 250 million people living within 50 metres of the Indian coastline. Fish, their source of livelihood, has reduced drastically over the years. “In 15 years, our catch has become one-tenth of what it was. It is not enough to feed our families anymore,” Johnson says. Climate change and industrialisation might be a subject for research or debate for the rest of the world, but rarely do they look at the lives of fishermen who pay its price every day. Rapid industrialisation near the shoreline has triggered massive pollution, which in turn has twisted implications for fisher-folk. Pollution drives the fish farther into the sea. The ongoing construction along the shoreline has also changed the wave patterns, causing rapid erosion. In 30 years, 200 to 1,500 metres of the shoreline has been lost. The sea has claimed two rows of houses lining the beach, and is at the third’s threshold. It has even claimed a huge chunk of the school at Iraimandurai. These images spin the perilous tale of these riders to the sea.
Fishermen sort their day’s catch, which will then be shared among thirty of them.
A sea wall at Ullal, Karnataka
Tracks of JCB machines line the sands, where an oil refinery is being built. The digging has triggered massive soil erosion. After several local protests, soil is now being dumped close to the coastal villages.
A fisherman sits by the sea wall at Ennore, Tamil Nadu
Fishermen protest near the proposed nuclear plant on World Fisheries Day at Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu. Local fishermen contributed money from their meagre daily earnings to support this protest.
A fisherman pulling the net
A sea wall at Cuddalore
A chemical Industry built this jetty to use sea water for industrial purposes at Punnakayal, Tamil Nadu
Sea wall at Cochin