TIRUNELVELI: The month-long marine fisheries census 2016 commenced in the three southern coastal districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari on Monday.
Taken once in five years, the previous marine fisheries census was taken in 2010 when the population of fishermen in the three districts among the 13 coastal districts in the state was around 33 per cent.
This year’s survey commenced on February 1 and will go on till March 1.
It will collect information about the population of marine fishing families, number of fishing crafts and gears and the social and educational profile and
demographic features of all 573 coastal villages of Tamil Nadu.
In the three southern districts, according to sources at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), which is coordinating the
survey, the census will be conducted in 87 coastal hamlets by 166
volunteers trained by the CMFRI.
The departments of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries of the Union ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare, have allocated Rs 3.8 crore for the survey.
According to the previous census in 2010, around 66 per cent (1,27,745)
fishermen families in the 13 coastal districts of Tamil Nadu were
found to be below the poverty line, the largest proportion below
poverty line being in the coastal districts of Villupuram (99.9 per cent)
Kancheepuram, (99.6 per cent), Thanjavur (99.3 per cent) Thiruvarur (96
per cent) and Chennai (95.2 per cent).
Marine fishermen families in the southern districts, however, were found to be well off when compared to their counterparts in the northern part of the state, according to the previous census. Kanyakumari district has a very low percentage of 18.9 per cent of its fishermen families living below the poverty line.
Literary level among fisher-folks in the southern districts was above 80
per cent when compared to literacy level among fisher-folks in the north coastal districts, especially Chennai that has just 63 per cent of its fishermen population literate.