Motorization in Fisheries Sector of Kerala: An Analysis of Economic Viability and Socio-Economic Changes
The quest for an alternative to the Catamaram in the fisheries sector became true in the 1980s with the introduction of the Out Board Machines (OBM) which can be best fitted in the fishing crafts. This is, in fact, true that the novel technology has led to cover comparatively a larger area in fishing, higher productivity and increased employment opportunities which in turn pave the way for economic progress of the community. Since then, a number of studies have been conducted to find out whether the novel technology has any impact on the fishermen community and these studies give different views in this regard. In this context, the present paper tries to analyze the economic viability of motorization and its impact on socio-economic changes in the living conditions of the fisher folk of Vizhinjam Grama Panchayat. It is found that though the motorization of country crafts was accepted by the fishermen, it is not economically much viable ie., it is not affordable to a vast majority of poor fishermen and leads to indebtedness of poor fishermen to money lenders. Though the implementation of motorization in the traditional fishing crafts and the subsequent introduction of the ring seine in the marine fisheries sector of Kerala have brought drastic changes in the fisheries sector as well as in the living condition of the fishing folk, they have got a long way to go to reach the goal.
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