A Goan fisherman’s obituary


“I’ve got bills to pay and children who need clothes, I know there’s fish out there but where God only knows” are the lyrics of Billy Joel’s ‘Doweaster Alexa’, a tribute to the Nantucket fishing community. The song encapsulates the daily struggles of a fisherman, putting everything on the line every single day just to put food on the table. It automatically brings to mind picture of a Goan fishermen.

In Goa there is plenty of sea food available; it is also one of the reasons why tourists flock to the state. There is also some stake involved in the export of this resource. Seafood is an integral part of the daily life of the Goans, not brought to fore are the people behind making it.

There is a lot of risk in the fishing business as it is necessary to go into the ocean. Mind you! There aren’t any ambulances to rush to for aid if anything bad happens. Yet, these brave Goan fishermen men still show the courage to face the unforgiving sea.

For many, buying fish is a journey to the nearby market. But it takes a lot of effort in the backend to make it available to the consumers. No one else except a fisherman will understand the hard work put into fishing.

Goan Fishermen also have a long hiatus to bear during the monsoon. Plus the seas are unpredictable and can get rough at anytime. In Goa, Willingly going to the sea every day is like writing your own obituary, as return journey is not always guaranteed. So, next time you buy fish, remember the struggles and risks that went into catching it. Respect it, as a fisherman has put his life at risk to get it for you!

Written by Shailesh Shriram Tanpure