Sunday, February 4, 2018

Existential Struggles of Small-scale Deep-sea Fishermen

On 27th January 2018, Dr Janetius, from the Department of Psychology and a PGD Counselling student Christopher, travelled 42 nautical miles (One nautical mile is equal to 1.8km) in a motorised 32feet long roofless boat with 4 fishermen who go for deep-sea  fishing in Arabian Sea from Beypore port. 
Awakened by the sad story of more than 300 fishermen disappear in the sea due to 2017 Cyclone Ockhi, a powerful storm struck the country's southern coast, the research was taken up by the personal interest of Dr Janetius to know the firsthand experience of the existential struggles of the fishermen who go for deep-sea fishing in less secured fishing boats.
Without disturbing the routine of fishing, he accompanied the fishermen in their regular fishing trip. The fishing trip started at 1230 AM in the night and reached the fishing spot (35 nautical miles away from the shore) around 445 AM. The fishermen laid serial hooks for 7 nautical miles in the sea, till 7 AM in the morning. Breakfast was prepared in the boat and it was also a time of rest.  At around 9 AM, collecting the fish that are caught in the hooks started and went on over 5 hours. The return journey started at 245 AM and the team reached the port around 645 PM. They trip had a catch of fish for 36 thousand rupees. 

The journey gave some unforgettable memories and a lot of insight into the daily existential struggles of these poor fishermen. The research findings will be presented in a conference in Delhi in the month of April. Dr Janetius is grateful to the Christopher and his relatives who helped him in this challenging research adventure. 

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