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Issue No:62
  • :0973-1121
  • :July
  • :2012
  • :English

 It is a fabulous place: when the tide is in, a wave-churned basin,
creamy with foam, whipped by the combers that roll in from the
whistling buouy on the reef. But when the tide goes out the little
world becomes quiet and lovely. The sea is very clear and the bottom
becomes fantastic with hurrying, fighting, feeding, breeding animals.

—from Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

 

Obituary : Fisher Leader

Matanhy Saldanha 1948 - 2012

Matanhy Saldanha, who died on 21 March 2012, was a genuine, charismatic leader and a true crusader for the cause of fishworkers


This article has been written by Nalini Nayak (nalini.nayak@gmail.com), Member, ICSF


Over three decades ago, in 1978, fishworkers in the Indian State of Goa hit the headlines when they took over the streets of the capital city, Panjim, in a campaign to “Save Goa, Save Our Fish”. Contrary to the stereotypical image of fun-loving Goans, the 1978 protest was no carnival, but an impassioned crusade for a ban on the destructive fishing technique of trawling, which was depleting the catches of the traditional rampons, the large shore-seines owned by ramponkars.

The person at the forefront of that show of strength, which paralyzed life in Goa's capital city, was a fiery school teacher in no mood to give up, backed as he was by a large group of advocates and environmentalists who had just succeeded in closing down the polluting Zuari Agro Chemicals plant.

Matanhy Saldanha—the charismatic leader of that landmark protest—knew little about fisheries and fishworkers when he joined the fight against pollution of the coast by the Zuari plant. But the instinctive activist in him realized the...

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