Climate Change, Urbanization and Livelihood Perspective of Indigenous Fishing Communities of Mumbai, India

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This study is an attempt to derive the socio-economic implications of climate change and other environmental issues pertaining to fishing communities residing in and around Mumbai, India. A substantial number of populations in Mumbai city are the fishing communities, popularly known as ‘Koli’. They are the earliest inhabitants of the city. Coastal cities are most productive as well as most vulnerable to environmental changes. They support a number of economic activities which include fishing, agriculture, urbanization, real estate, tourism, transport, oil exploration etc. As a result, the anthropogenic pressure on coastal cities is increasing. Koli communities in Mumbai encounter diverse socio-economic and climatic pressures including sea level rise, floods, storms, etc. The implications of climate change on Koli communities as well as other environmental issues pertaining to fishing villages in Mumbai are discussed in detail in this study. Five fishing villages from Mumbai are selected for a primary study based on a structured questionnaire. Nearly 200 households are surveyed in a period over six months in 2011-12, finally 182 households information is considered for further analysis. On the basis of the findings, this study suggests that issue of lack of asset formation and financial insecurity among young fishermen may be taken care by linking the fisheries societies in Mumbai and in other regions with the support from local governments. The benefits of subsidies, insurance may be distributed progressively based on their financial needs to all fishermen rather than benefiting the large scale fishermen alone.

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