KOCHI: Hailed as heroes for their deeds, the fisherfolk in the state saw the spotlight fall on them during last year's flood. Unfortunately, life has come a full circle for the hapless lot with poor weather hindering their livelihood. Though it is 15 days since the trawling ban was lifted, the fishermen in Kochi could venture into the sea only a handful of days.
“This was supposed to be the most fruitful of times for us. But, we could go fishing only for very few days. We have no option but to cooperate with the authorities when they ask us to keep off the sea due to the heavy rain and gusty wind,” says Charles George, president, Kerala's Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi.
The situation has been the same for the last few years. According to Charles George, over 40 warnings were issued to the fishermen last year, most of which were useless. “What we need is a precise weather analysis for every zone. Keeping away from the sea because it rains in Thiruvananthapuram is far-fetched most of the times,” he said.
The post-flood scenario isn't looking good either. Kerala Traditional Fishermen Committee P V Jayan said the trade was miserable just after Ockhi last year. “We suffered a huge loss last year due to Ockhi and flood. The sea was battered and fishermen like us who carry out shallow fishing suffered a huge loss due to the presence of sludge,” said Jayan.
This coupled with the fall in marine wealth adds to their woes. “For fishermen like us who depend on to shallow fishing, the decline in the number of sardine and anchovy means miserable times. Out future is uncertain as we have no idea what's at stake after this year's rain and flood,” says Jayan.Experts also think the climate will affect the upwelling phenomenon in the sea which results in less pelagic fish variety.