The Caravan

Catch As Catch Can

In January 2018, we sat in a trawler on its fishing trip out of Malvan, a fishing centre and tourist town in southern Maharashtra. The boat cast a trawl net that was dragged over the seafloor, catching not only prawn, crab, and other commercially important fish, but also thousands of other animals in its path. These “accidentally” captured species, called “bycatch,” can range from tiny fish and invertebrates that have little commercial value to animals such as sea snakes, and even sea turtles and dolphins.

The massive mound of catch was piled on the deck, and the fishers began sorting through it. While precious prawns and other valuable fish were quickly sorted out and safely stored,

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