Livelihood Status and Adaptive Strategies of Fishermen Community in Netrokona

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Bangladesh is a country, widely known as the land of rivers as 80% of the land mass consist of floodplains which is in a degrading trend due to extreme anthropogenic activities. The adverse effect of anthropological activity to rivers of Bangladesh will directly affect the livelihood of the traditional fisher folk community. They have become the most vulnerable group among the communities, whose dependence on the river’s natural resources and low resilience exposes the community to potentially devastating impacts from even minor changes in environmental condition of the rivers. The paper focuses on livelihood status and adaptive strategies of traditional fisher folk community residing along the downstream of the degraded Magra River. The key study area are Bormonpara, Bishotpur, Baniyajan and Goapara under Atpara Upazila, Netrokona. The villages belong to traditional fisher folk community. There are total 86 households combining these four villages and of which, 16 households have migrated to seek better livelihood opportunities. Hence, 70 households were surveyed through semi-structured questionnaire and focused group discussions on the basis of their current occupational status and adaptive strategies of traditional fishing community, income between their past and present livelihood, and supports needed in such cases. The study found that 80% has shifted their occupation to other non-fishing activities. 54% fishermen had to help themselves to develop skills and seek opportunities to make them sufficient in maintaining their livelihood and rest of 26% who got only one-time NGOs’ support which is not enough to sustain their livelihood. The level of satisfaction towards new occupation is low even if the earnings are better than being fishermen. 70% still believes fishing is still better livelihood dependency and 80% expects the government to save the Magra river and long for an opportunity to fish again to support their livelihood.
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Environmental Science and Management
North South University
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