The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


This paper explores the ways in which small-scale fishing communities in Kerala, India are affected by both industrialization and climate change, how they respond to these challenges, and the spatial, political, and social context in which these communities are situated. In order to do this, a combination of primary source materials and scholarly work is utilized. Construction of small-scale fishing communities as culturally “primitive”, as well as caste prejudice on the part of the government and industrial fishers, has resulted in increased marginalization of fishing communities and increased difficulty in adapting to the adverse changes associated with both climate change and industrialization. Defying perceptions of fisherpeople as “backwards” and incapable of effective social and political action, fishing communities create recognition and interaction with government through effective community mobilization towards sustainable management of the common marine resources and action for addressing the negative environmental consequences of fishing industrialization and climate change.