Aiding the Pagadiya Fishermen of Kutch

For an estimated 400 years, the fishing community along the Kutch coast have practised the ‘pagadiya’ method of fishing on foot: cheaper than traditional fishing, it involves placing nets in the water during low tide and collecting the catch after high tide. However, fish catch is uncertain and the returns are low. We invited marine biologist and fishery expert Dr Muneer Ahmed to help improve livelihoods for these fishermen.

After identifying the resource limitations among the fishermen, he designed the Pagadiya Kit comprising a net, a headlamp, and a bicycle equipped with an icebox. The headlamps enable them to fish in the dark and the ice box helps reduce spoilage before the fish reach the market. 50 fishermen have had their jobs made easier and more productive with this kit, and their earnings have increased by Rs 200 a day.

We are also helping women from these villages develop entrepreneurial skills to participate in the business of selling the fish they catch. The women also were trained in the hygienic handling of raw and cooked fish dishes. Through the fish kiosk Surmai, several local women have ventured out of their domestic chores to make direct profits from the catch.