The study aims to establish strategies on how to manage coastal fisheries conflicts and livelihood in Pulicat estuary. This estuary, lying in the east of the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh States in India, is the second largest brackish water body in India, the first being the Chilika estuary in the State of Odisha. The total area of the estuary is 759 km2 with many island as part of it. But only 360 km in the southern part is active and the northern part is dormant. The rivers Araniri, Kalangi and Swarnamukhi are the major ones that feed the lagoon. The estuary faces anthropogenic, developmental, industrial and environmental issues threatening not only the livelihood activities of fisherfolk but also the very survival of the estuary. Studies show that the estuary (lake) is shrinking and the depth has decreased from 6 m to 1 m, putting the livelihood of the people at stake. Separate questionnaires were administered to 100 lake fisherfolk and 100 to sea fisherfolk. All were active fisherfolk, aged 18 to 65. And 20 in-depth interviews were also conducted among different stakeholders including members of civil society. There is a huge divide difference between the sea fisherfolk and the lake fisherfolk. There is a social stigma attached to the lake fisherfolk on the basis of caste and economical standards.
Key words: Biodiversity, conflict, conservation, pollution, ecosystem, livelihood, Pulicat Lake.
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