Kadal: Fisherfolk of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

This photo essay is a reflection on the ethnographic research conducted by the research team at CNES on the shores of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, specifically, Thandiraayan Kuppam, Chinna Mudaliyar Chavadi, Vaithikuppam, and Kurichikuppam. It gauges their ecosystem and lifestyle. We interviewed fisherfolk during the ban period to inquire about their job satisfaction, fishing techniques, income-consumption patterns, and experiences from the pandemic. The study highlights the emerging business patterns and trends within the trade.

Kadal Rani: Fisherwomen of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

Fishing as trade is often associated with men embodying bellicose characteristics. While women play an imperative role in the fishing supply chain, their efforts are constantly undervalued. Fisherwomen’s work being undermined is a symptom of an established gender-based hierarchical system and designated roles that relegate women to underpaid labour and invisibility.

This essay attempts to challenge the preconceived notions and accentuate the importance of women in the fishing industry. We interacted with several women at the auction sites, where fresh yield is bid, and the marketplaces, where the fish is sold to consumers. This gave us an insight into their lives and the challenging line of work.