Lonely Business

The fringes of a metropolitan city is hardly the place where you should expect the presence of a fisherman, conventionally speaking. Well, if you live where I do, you’d be aware this place is an exception.

Every morning I leave for school, I notice an elderly fisherman getting the fish off his net. Where does he get the fish from?

Well, there is an extremely shallow stream a stone’s throw from my home, so shallow that you cannot even ride a boat out there properly! The water at the most is knee-deep (at most of the places, it isn’t).

This stream is an outlet from the East Kolkata Wetlands, a set of natural and artificial marshlands, as the name implies, lying on the eastern fringes of the city. Being originally devised by fishermen for pisciculture, the EKW has proved to be an ecological asset for the city.

Most of the city’s sewage is dumped into EKW, and its fascinating ecosystem treats the water. When it comes out, the water meets international standards for human use (not consumption). That is not to mention its other qualities.

Needless to say, this stream coming out from there would be treated freshwater, overflowing with nutrients. No doubt it is an extremely lucrative habitat for small fish to survive. 

Image Credit: Sagnik Sarkar (CC-BY-SA)

Therefore, business here is equally lucrative for this fisherman. I’ll bet he makes good money out of selling his catch in the local market.

I always wanted to see him at work. I eventually did, as depicted here, albeit when he was packing up after work. And yes, he seems to be the only fisherman in this area.

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