{{ 'Go back' | translate}}
Njus logo

Outdoor news | Njus India

In a Tamil Nadu village, palmyra climbers have turned sustainable fishers

Outdoor Scroll

Instead of trawling, residents of Tharuvaikulam have chosen gillnetting, which does not disturb the sea bed, helps conserve fuel and is often more profitable.
'In the backdrop of the mild sound of waves lashing against their boats and mechanised vessels berthed in Tharuvaikulam wharf, fishers were busy mending their nets in a shed. The fishing ban had just ended and those who had repaired their nets at home were seen bringing them back. These are typical scenes in fishing villages. However, the difference here is that Tharuvaikulam, in Thoothukudi – formerly Tuticorin – district in Tamil Nadu, is not a traditional fishing village. “All the fishermen here belong to the community of palmyra tree climbers,” said 54-year-old Anthony Duraiswamy. “I used to climb till I was in my mid-20s, then I switched to fishing.” These men used to tap padhaneer , the sap from palmyra inflorescence and toddy, the fermented sap. Today, the palmyra climbers have become resource-conscious sustainable fishermen. “There were no fishermen in Tharuvaikulam 50 years ago,” said Vinoth Ravindran, the state coordinator of NETFISH, the extension wing of Marine Products Export Development Authority . Most people here were into tapping toddy and some into farming. The older men and women here recall the panankaadu or palmyra grove close to the shore. Further from the shore stretched acres of palmyra trees. “They were so close that we could hop from one tree to another,” recalled Francis.. Read more'