By Sradha Meloot
It is not like that the heatwave affects only those living in the main land. Traditional fishermen were also affected by the extreme weather conditions.
Traditional fishermen, without any protection from direct sun light, were forced to venture into the seas to make a livelihood.
”Yes, it is a burning issue now. Unless we provide some alternate arrangement for their livelihood, we are not in a position to put restriction on their fishing activities,” says Father Justin Jude, Parish Priest at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, Vizhinjam in South Kerala.
At Vizhinjam fishlanding centre, a group of traditional fishermen explained their difficulties, especially during the lean months, to the Kadapuram News team.
”Earlier, we used to get a good catch within 30 to 40 km off the coast. Now, we are forced to travel 100 to 150 km into the sea, thus adding up to our expenses and also the time spend in the seas,” says local fisherman Johny who is fighting with the seas to make a livelihood from the young age of 12 years.
”We don’t have any other options. Whether it is heatwave or rain, we venture into the seas to ensure that our children are not starving,” he adds.
Same is the case with Andrews, who is into fishing for the past 30 years. ”The weather is extreme these days, but what to do. This is the only job I know.”
Echoing in the same line, fisherman Sarals says ”sea is my second home for the past 40 years. But the temperature is high these days, making our fishing activities difficult.”
Another fisherman Vijayan says they are used to such weather conditions.