Survival stories: We spent a day aboard a deep-sea trawler and here's how it went
In the lockdown, we have tickled our taste buds to the extreme from Dalgona coffee to Guacamole. Many food enthusiasts also explored the realms of veganism.
The process of unlock which was initiated 4 months back is still chaotic as its inception. Natural calamities like flood and cyclones, GDP hitting a new low and then the farmer's nationwide protest. The government was hesitant to accept the flaws and shortcoming in the bill. But the protest was justified according to many left-wingers as farmers were in deep trauma at the time of lockdown. But on the other side, a very different industry was flourishing and booming. The industry where their struggle and hard work involves taking a calculated risk and near attempt to cheat death when odds are beyond the degree of measurement. The remarkable point to note is that this industry contributes 1.07 per cent to the nation's economy.
The fishing and trawler business which is a major source of revenue for the coastal belt dwellers of western Ghats is thriving against all the odds. Back when the lockdown was put in place, the trawler operations were also suspended as the fishermen were mainly migrant workers. All the fishermen had returned to their native places. About 75% of the labourers in the fishing sector are from outside the state majorly from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Currently, the trawler operators in the region solely depend upon their community itself when it comes to seeking manpower. The boats which go for deep-sea fishing will have atleast eight to ten members onboard. They return with the catch only after 10 days. The mechanised boats return to the port after three days of fishing. Only a few purse seine boats return on the same day whose primary catches includes prawns and crabs.
TBC went onboard with one such trawler operator to deep waters and tried to understand their challenges in the fishing business. An average of 116 out of every 100,000 fishers die during the catch. For comparison, about 64 out of every 100,000 people who work with explosives die on the job.
With the bare minimum technology, the fishermen cheat death with their age-old knowledge of weather prediction just by looking at the horizon. In the name of navigation equipment, they are only equipped with a battery-operated GPS and a torch.