Asia Is Trawling for a Deadly Fishing War

THALVUPADU, Sri Lanka — Stanley Cruz, a fisher in this beachside village on the island of Mannar off Sri Lanka’s northwestern coast, stands with his bare feet in the sand, holding up a green net between his hands. “This is the kind of net, you see. Last week, we lost many hundreds of these. “It keeps happening over and over,” says Mary Subramali, an elderly woman who cleans and sorts the incoming fish. “The trawlers come to take our fish and cut our nets, destroying them with their propellers. My son just lost his for the second time.” She picks up a cold, slippery fish from a basket and severs its head and fins with ease. For her and others on the northern coast of Sri Lanka, losing nets has become a familiar story. Over 30,000 people from the minority Tamil community in Thalvupadu work as fishers, mainly on a small-scale, mostly earning less than $2,500 per year, about two-thirds of the islands’ average. Nets in these coastal societies are precious investments — even a small one costs $23, and the village has lost nearly 1,000 of them. A very good read. click here to read the story 18:28

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