Whirlpools, crocodiles, and more. Find out what the life of a fisherman is like.

A cool breeze blows and the water laps gently against the river bank. A man walks towards the river carrying his floating net. He gets into the boat and uses his strong arms to expertly row to the desired spot to cast the net for catching fish.

This happy-go-lucky Goan is Prakash. He goes fishing 2-3 times a week as it is one of his ways of earning a living. During his childhood, he had a tough life as his parents struggled to feed him and his seven siblings. From a young age he was a keen learner. Just by watching different people at work, he was able to pick up various other trades like carpentry and vegetable cultivation.

He has observed that during the summer there is more fish to catch. According to him, the months of April, May, and June are the best months to fish. During the rainy season, he avoids fishing as the river waters get choppy.

In the past few years, fishing has become a bit tougher for him because of crocodiles and seals. Seals move very quickly to steal the fish they catch and even come to bite them. Also, he has to avoid any dangerous encounters with crocodiles by going the other way once he spots them. “Seals and crocodiles even break my nets which is a big loss for me,” says Prakash.

He sells his fish at whatever price he wants. His decision is based on the market rates and the amount of supply and demand. There are no government subsidies for fishing that he is aware of.

Prakash feels that the number of fish has reduced now compared to before. He attributes this to noise pollution in the river due to mechanized boats which scare away the fish. Also, cranes come and eat the young fish which hinders their chance to reproduce. This expert fisherman claims that there are now deep holes in the river and dangerous undercurrents which can suck you in. He manages to avoid these dangers as he knows where they are by experience.

Night fishing is one of his routines. He laughs and says that he blindly throws the net into the water when it’s dark. When asked what he doesn’t like about fishing he replies, “It’s those noisy motorboats and the very deep holes due to sand extraction.” Additionally, the hours can be long as the fish take time to be caught in the net.

However, at the end of it all, he says, “I feel good when I fish. It is something totally normal for me”.

SHERYL GONSALVES | NT GOGOANOW

Pics Credit – Shivang Mishra I NT GOGOANOW.COM