World Fisheries Day on 21st November 2023 witnessed vibrant celebrations across the diverse coastal landscapes of India organised by our teams. The activities organised echo the shared commitment to sustainable fishing practices, community well-being, and the preservation of coastal ecosystems.
In Odisha, our field team in partnership with the Odisha Traditional Fishworkers Union (OTFWU), organised a fisheries management stakeholders’ meeting. Fisher leaders and key officials from six coastal districts, including the Local Member of Parliament, District Collector among others, convened to address pivotal issues in the fisheries sector. A preceding district-level meeting provided a forum for delving into pertinent issues, fostering collaboration, and garnering crucial support from district leaders.
Down south in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, World Fisheries Day was marked by a dedicated celebration at Mandapam Park. We highlighted the lives of traditional fishers and women involved in fishing as the core of our engagement. At our stall, we shared vital information about Tamil Nadu’s support systems and the benefits available to the fishing community. The esteemed presence of District Collector B. Vishnu Chandran and other officials, alongside the public, enriched our initiative. Moreover, our Coastal Grassroots Fellows orchestrated a mime performance addressing critical issues of early pregnancy and gender-based violence, amplifying our commitment to the well-being of the fishing community.
In New Wandoor, South Andaman, the World Fisheries Day event united 140+ participants, including fishers and their families from six villages across three Gram Panchayats, and officials. The event aimed to honour the importance of fisheries, fishers, and coastal ecosystems in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and commenced with folk dances by local children and a play named ‘Ekta’ by Aditya Natya Academy, emphasising sustainable fishing practices and unity among fishers. Notable guests, including Directors of Fisheries and local Panchayat leaders, attended the event. Director Vikram Singh highlighted the significance of fisheries schemes like PMMSY and KCC for fishers’ benefit. The event also included engaging games and stalls, which helped in fostering awareness, collaboration, and community engagement in the cause of fisheries and coastal ecosystem celebration.