The Traditional Fishing Community
of Deepor Beel
The belief system of the fishing community
sees them as a part of the natural environment.
The community has survived over generations revering nature by using its resources wisely to be self-sufficient. The fishermen of Deepor Beel have developed a diverse range of traditional fishing tools using Traditional Ecological Knowledge to capture a wide variety of fish species. To date, they use the same age-old gears used by their forefathers.
Traditional fishing gears of the fishing community of Deepor Beel is four fringe villages, namely
With years of practice and training, the
fishermen adapted to the changing scenarios of the Beel and accordingly made certain changes in the technological aspects.
The fishing community of Deepor Beel manages the wetland by applying their knowledge of the wetland ecology for practical purposes in fishing and have developed various traditional tools/ gears, traditional boats, methods and techniques from the implementation of their ecological knowledge system.
It can be argued that the traditional ecological knowledge of the fisherfolk is the genesis of motivation for environmental ethics. Their belief system sees “humans as a part of the natural environment”, and their association with nature is of “peaceful coexistence.”
All measures and efforts to restore the wetland, its ecosystem and natural resources taken will achieve greater success if the importance of the traditional ecological knowledge and skills of fisherfolk in coping with environmental damage is understood and acknowledged.
The Ramsar Convention also admits community engagement as an essential tool in promoting the Convention’s goal of ‘wise-use’ of all wetlands due to its advantages over the conventional strategies of management (Ramsar Handbook, 2016).
The fisherfolk of Deepor Beel have survived over generations by revering nature and using the natural resources wisely, making them self-sufficient in terms of resources. Therefore, learning and adapting to these sustainable ways can be very useful in the long run to preserve the ecological health of the beel and manage the available resources.