SHARK FISHING - A UNIQUE TRADITIONAL FISHING PRACTICE IN THOOTHOOR, TAMIL NADU, INDIAHino Fernando, P.S. Ananthan and N. Daniel
The present study documents the unique traditional ways of shark fishing undertaken by Thoothoor fishers. Thoothoor is a coastal village situated in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, where the fishermen of this village are well known for their unique deep sea shark fishing, using mechanized fishing boats by hook and line method for earning their livelihood. Case study method along with specific tools such as key informant interviews, snowball technique, participants observation and focussed group discussion were used to collect the necessary information for the study. The method of fishing operation is discussed in the paper; however the main information collected in the study is furnished as follows: the period for Thoothoor fishers to reach the shark fishing ground (57 days); the average speed of the boat to reach the fishing ground (89 knot); gear used mattu; live baits used with gear (Tuna); side of fishing operation (stern side); attractants used to attract fish towards gear (electronic water resistant white light); tools used to locate and find out the potential shark fishing grounds (VHF and GPS) and hauling period (7 hours). In overall conclusion, Hook and line based shark fishing by Thoothoor fishers causes less damage to the environment which eliminates the unwanted species due to its selective nature of fishing. This method of fishing is the sustainable fishing method and therefore, has a greater potential to exploit the shark fishery resources in the future as well.
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