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Issue No:41
  • :0973-1156
  • :November
  • :2012

This issue of Yemaya includes articles on women fish processors in Senegal, conditions of fishing communities post civil war and after tsunami in Sri Lanka, women participating in decision-making process in Philippines and how women are turning to farm feed production as livelihood options in India. The edit focuses on the gender issues within the Convention on Biological Diversity. 


Shifting Undercurrents:
Seaweed Collectors of
Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu

2012. 20 min. Directed by Rita Banerji. English and Tamil

By Sumana Narayanan (, Programme Associate, ICSF

Produced by ICSF, the 20-minute documentary Shifting Undercurrents explores the trials and tribulations of a community of seaweed collectors in India struggling to retain access to seaweed resources within a marine protected area. The film won the second prize at the 9th Annual Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival in 2012.

Spread over 560 sq km and consisting of 21 uninhabited islands off the coast of the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu, the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is home to about 5,000 women who rely on the park’s natural resources for their livelihood. Each morning, these women head out to sea where they spend up to four hours free-diving to collect seaweed. Using minimal equipment and relying on their inherent skills, they hand-pick selected species of wild seaweed, which finds great demand in local markets.

Seaweed collection has sustained the lives of these women and their families for several generations. But now they find themselves struggling to cling on to their primary source of livelihood in the face of a slew of legally mandated...

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