The meaning of World Fisheries Day

By Anu Priya Babu| Why do celebrations break out across oceans and shorelines on the 21st of November every year and how did this emerge as the ‘World Fisheries Day’? On this day, fishing communities across nations engage in public gatherings, cultural performances, exhibitions, rallies and workshops. In sync with this worldwide revelry, our teams in Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and the Andamans organised fisheries meetings, mimes, and local events to celebrate along with the fishing communities their fisheries and coastal ecosystems. But what is so special about this day and what meaning does it hold for India’s diverse small-scale fishers? The answer took us to the proud history of fisher movements in South Asia, led by Indian fishers…

Reassessing Marine Protected Areas and the climate crisis

By Anu Priya Babu| The urgency to combat what is now termed the ‘climate crisis’ has led to a paradigm shift in global discussions with COP28 in Dubai becoming a significant event. Notably, the attempt to re-center oceans in climate strategies highlights the controversial role of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. The long-persisting challenges around MPAs as conservation tools, especially in the global south, and in regions like the northern Indian Ocean, where a complex interplay of environmental, social, and economic factors call into question increasing MPA coverage targets as blanket climate solutions.