Saturday, 22 September 2012

Traditional Methods of Fishing in Kuttanadu, Kerala, India

Kuttanad, a marshy delta region in Southern Kerala is a replica of the earth’s topography. It is a deltaic formation of four river systems namely, Meenachil, Pamba, Manimala, and Achancoil together with the low lying areas in and around Vembanad Lake. With silt based agriculture, Kuttanad was once a “rice bowl” and a “fish bowl”. The economy of Kuttanad was sound and strong with her natural wealth.  It is now generally proved that under human interference, Kuttanad has worsened her conditions. This marshy delta region comprised of Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta district of Kerala covering an area of 1,10,000 hectares. Kerala has greater inland water, rivers of 85,000 hac, estuaries of 2, 42,000 hac, and back waters of 29,659 hac. Fishing is not only for fish but also other aquatic animals. The implements used for catching fish are called fishing gear and to conduct fishing operation is called fishing craft. Fishing method is the manner or methods in which the fish may be captured.

               The art of fishing can be divided in to three fields, subsistence fishing, sport fishing, commercial fishing. The water area of kuttanadu comprising of lakes, rivers, water ways and channels. Fishing is another important primary activity involving about 21,000 full time and part time fishermen.  The species collected from these areas includes fresh water fishes and estuarine fishes such as milk fish, mullet, Pearl spot, marine prawns, fresh water prawns, molluscs such as clams, mussels etc. 

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