Livelihood Problems and Challenges of the Small Scale Fishermen of Kerala

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Dr (Fr) Celestine
Dr Sinitha Xavier


The present article unfurls the problems and challenges encountered by one of the most susceptible sections of the society of Kerala, namely the fishing community. As a marginalized community in Kerala they face several problems and challenges distinct from other communities on the fringes especially the tribal communities. The study has found out that majority of the fisher folk in Kerala belongs to the Latin Catholic (Christian) community. The research work has confined to the three thickly populated districts of the Fisher folk namely, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode. The low income of the households affected the educational as well as occupational possibilities of the future generation of the small-scale fishermen. Higher education opportunities of the children of the fishermen in Kerala and abroad require heavy financial investment which the small-scale fishermen were not able to afford as found by study. The literacy rate of the fishermen in the district of Thiruvananthapuram is only 64.5 per cent. The small-scale fishermen who owned landed property was only 45.6 per cent. The total land owned by a person is less than 3 cents in all the regions.  The fact that 55 per cent of them do not own a piece of land demonstrated that the small-scale fishermen were denied of basic livelihood opportunities. The study has brought out the finding that in Kerala, even in this modern and hi-tech era, fishermen and the members of their family are looked down upon by the general society of Kerala. The children of the fishermen in schools and colleges have to experience bigotry and scorn from their counterparts.

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Author Biographies

Dr (Fr) Celestine

P.F. Research Scholar, Research and Post Graduate Department of Economics, P.M Govt. College, Chalakudy.

Dr Sinitha Xavier

Research Supervisor, Research and Post Graduate Department of Economics, P.M Govt. College, Chalakudy Potta, P.O, Thrissur, Kerala.