Mumbai Paper Clip: ‘Falling income, less catch: Climate change impacts women in Versova fishing village’

These findings are part of a study conducted by the Central Institute of Fisheries Education on awareness, perceptions and adaptation strategies of women of the urban fishing village to climate change.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai | Published: November 29, 2016 1:29:16 am

Falling income from sale of fish brought on by unseasonal heat, less rainfall, decline in catch and increasing prices – these are some of the most visible impacts of climate change in the last five years, according to women of Versova urban fishing village.

These findings are part of a study conducted by the Central Institute of Fisheries Education on awareness, perceptions and adaptation strategies of women of the urban fishing village to climate change. Ninety respondents selected randomly from the village took part in the study. The respondents were from three groups – those involved in the marketing of fish, casual labourers and homemakers in fishing households.

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In Versova’s fisher families, most family members are engaged solely in fisheries-related activities and are aware of climate change through various sources like mass media. All respondents reported a lack of alternative livelihood opportunities.

The study found that most women fishsellers and casual labourers are from marginal and small-income groups, respectively. But fisherwomen homemakers are from higher income groups. These households belong to the ‘koli’ community, which constitute higher income groups of the village. The non-koli population are people who migrated there decades ago.

According to the study, more middle-aged women are engaged in fisheries-related activities. Those working as casual labourers contribute the highest (58.72 per cent) to their family incomes, followed by women engaged in marketing (51.48 per cent) and homemakers in fishing households (13.89 per cent).

According to the study, very few respondents were aware about climate change though they were aware about the events related to the phenomenon. Among the respondents, 93.3 per cent fisherwomen involved in marketing, 56.7 per cent casual labourers and 96.7 per cent homemakers in fishing households were aware of the impact of climate change on fisheries. All the respondents had a negative perception about climate change.

 

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