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Sokhi

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Dhamai
Words 2646
Pages 11
Poverty Context Analysis of Fisherfolk Communities at Sitakunda

1. Context Analysis:

Fisheries play an important role in the economy of Bangladesh in terms of nutrition, employment and income generation. The World Bank and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (1998) state in their publication ‘Bangladesh 2020’, that 80 percent of the population’s animal protein comes from fish. Despite the fact that the fishing industry accounts for only 8 percent of agricultural GDP, its employment potential is considered vast. It is estimated that the sector fully employs approximately 1.5 million people and provides part-time employment for an additional 11 million (The World Bank and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, 1998). According to Habib (1999), the fisheries industry contributes employment to 12% of the total working population in various forms of livelihoods activities. In the mid 1990s fisheries contributed about 10 percent of Bangladesh’s export earnings. The Meghna Estuary Study (May 1998, first draft) estimates the population living in coastal marine fishing villages at the end of the 20th Century at 7.3 million. According to the same source, in these areas fishing is the main income earning activity for 350,000 households (i.e. 22%), and 96,000 boats are operated by 350,000 fishermen. “Traditionally, it was the low caste Hindus who engaged in the fishing profession: the Jaladas, the Malos, the Malla Burmans, all popularly known as the Jeles, the Naiyas or the Neyes” (Alam, 1996). The last few decades have increasingly seen the entry of Muslims into the sector. On the one hand these are members of poor Muslim communities in search of new income opportunities, on the other hand wealthy individuals have invested in the marine fisheries sector once it became a profitable business.[1]

The fisherfolk communities possess distinct socio-political...

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