Fishing sector is a highly dynamic sector with a lot of players existing. This sector has gone through a lot of changes in the past years. Long back, the boats and the gears that were used were more of a traditional type and the fishing was of passive nature.
Because of this the fishing was more of a sustainable activity earlier. But due to the advent of the industries and modern fishing equipments, crafts and gears, active fishing has come in which has resulted in the dwindling of the sea resources. The current challenge is to put in proper management practices in place to bring back sustainable fisheries.
The job of the fishery biologist I had interacted with was very interesting. He had to manage the administrative tasks at the office, to dealing with the government officials and also to directly having a link with the fishing community to create appropriate plans and implement them. His administrative roles included monitoring the project and providing proper reports.
Also he had to keep in touch with the government officials who are involved in the marine fisheries. At the ground level, he had to organize meetings at the community level, making them understand the dwindling nature of the marine resources due to over fishing and bring in proper management measures that would make the fisheries as a sustainable livelihood.
This conserves both the livelihood of the community and the natural marine resource. At the grass root level, it involves the formation of a resource management council comprising the fishermen and also bringing a few government officials into that formally.
The challenge here as he felt was to bring in both the community and the government officials to the same platform to formulate management measures and to get them formally designated and monitored. There is still some reluctance from the side of the government as they are not yet used to this type of measures.
Education and employment background
The professional with whom I had my interaction had done his graduation in the field of Botany and had done his management studies after that, specializing on how to work with the local communities to promote sustainable livelihood, using the bottom-top approach.
Though his education had not much to do directly with the fisheries sector, because of his keen interest in the field of fisheries, he learnt a lot attending seminars on the issues and current trends and had learnt a lot from the books. More than that, he claimed to have learnt more from the fishermen themselves directly, which is more credible, related to the fisheries sector, as he says.
Motive behind going to that career
The professional was more of a reflective nature and had shown a great interest towards the development of the down-trodden community. From his childhood, he had shown a great interest towards the conservation of nature and wanted to be more with nature, away from the congested city life. It is his interest on the flora that made him took his graduation in the field of Botany.
He wanted to put his scientific skills more for the benefit of the development of the under privileged, instead of sitting and doing researches in the laboratory. So, to increase his professionalism, he did management studies keeping in mind to specialize in the rural livelihood and its sustainability, working for its development.
While doing his management studies, he undertook some project works in some of the NGO’s to study their working nature in different contexts. It is during that phase, he felt the livelihood of the fisheries sector very much dynamic and at the same time in a miserable condition. In this case, both the resources and the livelihood itself were greatly affected because of close linkage between the both and the over exploitation of the fish resources.
This made him select this profession and do something solid for sustaining the livelihood and the sector at a micro level.