By: Ashish ParekhAshish Paredes | 23 May, 2019 12:07:49A few days after his wife, a fishery officer, was killed in a cyclone, K.K. Parede, 36, had a different kind of epiphany.
The Indian fishermen, he had been told, were the future of Indian fishing.
The Indian fishing industry, after all, has had a bad go of it.
But after a few years of hard work and an influx of foreign investment, there is hope for the future.
As the Indian government continues to invest in its own industry, some fishermen have begun to see it as a way to earn extra money.
“I am going to do my job and get some extra income.
I don’t even care,” said K.P. Pares, who runs a fishing shop near the Mumbai port.
He was referring to the fact that some fishermen are making a living from fishing.
He does not use the term “salary” to describe the salary he makes from his work.
He is happy that he has started a small business and is getting to know the people.
Some fishermen, however, are sceptical.
“The livelihood is very precarious.
The people who are doing the work in the sea are not happy,” said Sanjay Paredeshwaran, a fisherman who works at a port in Kerala.
“It’s very difficult.”
He added, “I think the government needs to be more transparent about how it is using foreign investment to create jobs in Indian fishing.”
The government has responded to the criticism with an amendment to the Fisheries Act, which states that “the fishing industry will be the only industry of India.”
The amendments, which were introduced in March, make it easier for the government to make such changes.
They include a clause allowing Indian fishing companies to “be incorporated” with foreign companies and a clause to allow foreign companies to hire Indian fishermen.
Indian fishermen, meanwhile, have welcomed the amendment.
“This is the biggest step the government has taken to ensure Indian fishing is not only safe, but sustainable,” said Paredek.
He added, it will also allow Indian fishermen to continue working under conditions that they have found hard to find elsewhere.
For many, this is an important milestone.
For others, it is a slap in the face.
“We want the government of India to stop this.
We are Indian fishermen and we are fishermen,” said M.S. Rana, a father of three from Kerala.
He also runs a shop selling coconut oil, a staple in Indian food.
“Our livelihood is in the water.
We do not need any foreign help to fish.
We have our own livelihood.”
In the past few months, the government, through the Indian Fisheries Development Corporation (IFDC), has been conducting a series of surveys in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.
The surveys aim to see how well fishermen in the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian subcontinent can survive on the fishing grounds.
Some fishermen have said they have been offered better conditions than those found in India.
But the IFFD has said that the Indian fishing communities’ livelihood is not at risk.
The government’s latest survey, which has just begun, has found that fishing in the three Indian Ocean countries, including the Indian coast, is in better shape than it was two years ago.
The survey also showed that fishermen in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines are doing better than before.
The fishing industry is booming in the Pacific, with a record 4.4 million catch last year.
But it has not been easy for many fishermen.
“Even after the changes in the Fisheries (Act), fishing has not changed in our country,” said Rana.
The government has not paid any attention to the fishermen who have complained about conditions.
“What the government is doing is to put pressure on the fishermen, but they are not doing anything,” said Ramanan K. Thakur, a fish fisherman from Kerala, who is a member of the National Fishermen’s Federation.
“They are not giving us a chance.”
Thakur is one of the leaders of the fishermen’s group that is trying to get the government’s attention.
“When we were fishing in India, we were able to make a living.
Now, we are in poverty,” he said.
He said that fishermen need to get some sort of redress to compensate for the loss of livelihood.
“If the government allows foreign investors to take over our industry, we will have no fishery in our lifetime,” he added.
Thakumur is not the only one who is against foreign investment in the fishing industry.
Anil K. Agrawal, the secretary of the Federation of Indian Fisheries Industries, said that foreign investors need to respect the laws of the country and that the government must not interfere in the industry.