As a prerequisite of their profession, the fishermen habitats are close to water bodies, estuaries, backwaters, coastal areas and islands which are mostly away from the normal bounds of civic amenities. However, they are vulnerable to a variety of coastal hazards. To increase the facilities for coastal fishermen, Government at various levels have taken many steps, including livelihood protection policies, suitable programs, schemes and projects for their living.In fact the objective of Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) Notification (2011) is to emphasize sustainable livelihood of fishermen and coastal communities. The CRZ Notification directed the States to prepare local detailed plans for long term housing needs of coastal fishermen communities in view of expansion and other needs, provisions of basic services including sanitation, safety, and disaster preparedness. To support implementation of the above CRZ stipulations, NCSCM has implemented the mapping of fishing space project. Under the project, a Guideline and resource manual for Decentralised planning guidelines for fishing villages has been prepared as a first phase of mapping of fishing space has been prepared. This guideline shall support fishers to prepare their participatory decentralized plan to protect the life and livelihoods for their fishing villages.
The draft guideline was tested in two fishing villages in Tamil Nadu. Further to validate and improve the contents of the guideline and resource manual, an expert institution has been appointed. The expert institution is testing the microlevel, decentralized planning process in coastal fishing villages through case studies and recommending to improve the contents of the guideline resource manual for easy application by fishermen, local governments and State Governments.
Fishermen livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base. The traditional fishermen assets and capacities include many from the land they used for their occupation to the skills they identify the fish schools. In general, the livelihood assets of the fishing community have been classified as natural capital, physical capital, human capital, social-political capital, and financial capital.
To analyze the fishermen livelihood capitals, remote sensing datasets (for land use), secondary data sources, and open source information are being collected and analyzed to promote sustainable livelihoods. This study shall provide details of various assets and livelihoods of coastal fishing communities and villages by to improve / strengthen the livelihood assets and capitals.