FISHERMEN’S PROJECT

Supporting the livelihood of the fishing communities

Helping fishermen improve their business in a difficult environment

Fishing in the Bay of Bengal is a hazardous occupation. Extreme climatic conditions can damage and destroy boats and equipment and place livelihoods and lives at risk. Business is unstable because income depends on the fluctuating prices of fish in the market. Fishermen have been forced over generations to turn to local moneylenders for help and become trapped in permanent debt, as their income is insufficient to repay the high interest charges and loan capital. With the help of strong community involvement, we strive to liberate fishermen and their families from their debts to moneylenders, and to help create opportunities for them to generate a fair income.

What we do

Provide loans to free fishermen from old debts

We provide loans to allow fishermen to free themselves from old debts. Fishermen are frequently heavily in debt, as they regularly need to replace boats and equipment which are exposed to harsh conditions. Because of high interest rates and the restrictions on fish prices applied by moneylenders, fishermen are often unable to pay off their debts, which can pass from one generation to another. With our help, they can extract themselves from this situation.

Offer financial support for new boats and nets

Following an in-depth discussion with the fishermen regarding their needs and their ability to repay, we provide appropriate financial support for the acquisition of fishing nets, floats, fuel and other essential equipment that will allow the fishermen to operate effectively in relative safety.

Propose alternative sources of income – shrimp farming

In the low-lying coastal land of the Bay of Bengal, fields which have become infertile following flooding by saline water are now used for the developing industry of shrimp cultivation. We deliver training and professional advice on shrimp cultivation to local people who previously had little experience or knowledge about this business. As a result, with relatively little investment, local people are able to enter the industry and become self-sufficient.

How we help make a difference

Help fishermen buy better boats and safer equipment.

Up to now, a considerable portion of the disposable income created in fishery goes to repay loans from money lenders. Many fishermen have been unable to invest in improvements of their boats and nets and are therefore dependent on old, inefficient and sometimes dangerous equipment to earn their livelihoods. Our financial assistance enables the fisherman to buy better quality boats and safer equipment.

Enable fishermen to work in safer conditions

Because of the pressure of their commitments to repay the moneylenders, the fishermen were forced to go to sea in conditions where few fish were available and the work was uneconomic, or when weather conditions were so hazardous as to be life-threatening. With our financial assistance, they can now fish more safely and at times when fishing is economically viable.

Help fishermen obtain a fair market price

We provide the fisherman with improved links to market information, so that they can sell their catch at a fair price. They also now have more freedom regarding to whom, when, and at what rate to sell the fish they catch under conditions acceptable to them.

Think big, start small, begin now

Your donations will have a huge impact on the lives of those who need it most