Monday, January 19, 2015

Criminals control the survival chances of the Ganges river dolphin in India

We wrote previously about the use of the mosquito nets. Many of the fishermen have opted not to continue to use these because they understand the effects (no more fish). While many of these people have opted out, some still continue.

Blue mosquito nets used for fishing the rivers in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh (Photo: JLewis, TDRF)

These for the most part are doing the work under the strong arms of mafia that control the water use in the region. Nets are given to these fishermen, on “loan” or other types of
Tiny mesh size of the mosquito netting used to make fishing traps and 
nets (Photo: JLewis, TDRF)
support, creating a situation where they then owe the mafia bosses in ways that cannot be paid back easily. In return, the fishermen are required to give a cut of either money made from the fish captured or even part of the catch. We have interviewed these fishermen and learned that all are regularly threated and beaten to control this activity. It is a serious human rights problem. And sadly, the local authorities are turning their eyes away from it (they are on “the pay roll”). This part of India could be best described as still sort of like the wild west (United States reference). In this situation, having law and order as we know it today is very hard to establish and to maintain.

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