Employment Scenario and Labour Migration in Marine Fisheries

Sathiadhas, R and Prathap, K Sangeetha (2009) Employment Scenario and Labour Migration in Marine Fisheries. Asian Fisheries Science, 22 (2). pp. 713-727.

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Abstract

Employment status and opportunities in marine fisheries sector increased over the years inspite of growing mechanization and incessant replacement of labour intensive fishing technologies. Fish, being a highly perishable product, needs the services of several people for its fast movement from catching point to consuming point without deteriorating its quality. It provides employment not only to fisherfolk in fishing villages, but also to those hailing from adjoining as well as interior regions. The present study attempts to assess the manpower employed in active fishing as well as in secondary and tertiary sectors both from coastal villages and other regions. Macro level employment status has been worked out based on the well established assumption that every 5 kg of marine fish produced provides employment to one person in the harvesting and another 1.2 persons in the post harvest sector (Sathiadhas et al. 1997). The study indicates that about 12.5 lakh people are involved in active fishing in India while the postharvest sector including export and domestic marketing employs about 15 lakh and in tertiary sector there are around 2 lakh people. Among these, 71 percent of active fishers, 50 percent of secondary sector workers and 42 percent in the tertiary sector are inhabitants of coastal fishing villages. In secondary sector, around 30 percent are women workers of which 81 percent are residents of fishing villages in the coastal belt. There is ample scope of development of employment potential of secondary and tertiary sectors in view of globalization of economy. An additional export of almost 1 lakh tonnes of value added products in our marine exports could easily corner about Rs. 1500 crores of forex earnings and generate regular employment opportunity for about 35,000 fisherfolk. Technological changes in fishing coupled with the widespread use of electronic gadgets like mobile phones and GPS have promoted migration of fisherfolk in search of better catch and earnings. A case study of socio economic dimensions of migrant fisher folk who are natives of Colachel, Thoothoor, and Vallavilai regions of Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu was carried out for which primary data were collected by the help of pre-structured schedules. Migratory fishing is having definite implications upon the social and economic milieu of migrants as well as on the migrants’ families who are left back at their native place. Factors inducing migration among these fisherfolk include high demand for shark in the international market coupled with its earning potential, accessibility to landing points, and berthing facilities and better price realization. Constraints faced by in-country migrants include fluctuating returns resulting in insufficient income and indebtedness, frequent clashes with locals of landing center in other states, exploitation of migrant fishing units in other states, forced sales, delay in payment of sale proceeds, missing of fishing boats/fishermen and ergonomic problems due to long fishing trips without adequate facilities. Foreign migrants face problems like detention due to crossing maritime borders, withholding of passports and other documents, ill treatment from the sponsors and exploitation due to ignorance of fishermen.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Employment; marine fisheries
Subjects:Socio Economic and Extension
Marine Fisheries
Socio Economic and Extension > Fishing Community
Divisions:CMFRI-Cochin > Fishery Extension
ID Code:586
Deposited By:Edwin Joseph
Deposited On:20 May 2010 18:03
Last Modified:20 May 2010 18:05

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