In this sixty-first archive story by Kristian Bertel, we meet a fisherman in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Water tourism is the second most important industry in Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, where this fisherman portrait was taken by the photographer. Efforts has been been made to study the morbidity pattern of boatmen to find what type of illness they suffered the most and whether there was any association between type of boat and morbidity in Varanasi. Motor boats emitted smoke and therefore the boatmen developed bronchial complications.
Water tourism is the second most important industry in Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, where this fisherman portrait was taken by the photographer. Efforts has been been made to study the morbidity pattern of boatmen to find what type of illness they suffered the most and whether there was any association between type of boat and morbidity in Varanasi. Motor boats emitted smoke and therefore the boatmen developed bronchial complications.

Fishermen of India

Fishing and aquaculture in India has a long history. For centuries, India has had a traditional practice of fish culture in small ponds in Eastern India. Significant advances in productivity were made in the state of West Bengal in the early nineteenth century with the controlled breeding of carp in Bundhs which are tanks or impoundments where river conditions are simulated.

Fishing in India is a major industry
As a travelerand photographer it is noticable that the fish culture has received notable attention in states such as Uttar Pradesh, where initiated fish culture through the establishment of Fisheries departments. Indian central government initiated a dedicated organization focussed on fisheries as in this photograph. Brackishwater farming in India is also an age-old system confined mainly to the Bheries, which are manmade impoundments in coastal wetlands of West Bengal and Pokkali salt resistant deepwater paddy fields along the Kerala coast. With no additional knowledge and technology input, except that of trapping the naturally bred juvenile fish and shrimp seed, these systems have been sustaining production levels of between fivehundred to sevenhundred and fifty kilograms a year with shrimp contributing twenty to twentyfive percent of the total Indian production. Fishing in India is a major industry in its coastal states, employing over 14 million people and fish production in India has increased more than tenfold since its independence and as matter of fact the fish output in India doubled in two decades.

India is a major supplier of fish in the world
India has marine coastline, fishing villages and traditional fish landing centers and India's fresh water resources consist of almost twohundred thousand kilometers of rivers and canals and minor and major reservoirs as well as hectares of ponds and lakes and flood wetlands. The marine and freshwater resources offered a combined sustainable catch fishing potential of over 4 million metric tonnes of fish. In addition, India's water and natural resources offer a tenfold growth potential in aquaculture, the so-called farm fishing from harvest levels of almost four million metric tonnes of fish, if India were to adopt fishing knowledge, regulatory reforms, and sustainability policies over the last two decades. Shrimps are one of the major varieties exported. The giant tiger prawn is the dominant species chosen for aquaculture, followed by the Indian white prawn. Shrimp production from coastal aquaculture. Farmed shrimp accounted for about sixty percent of shrimp exported from the country. Marine and freshwater catch fishing combined with aquaculture fish farming is a rapidly growing industry in India. Ten years ago India was the sixth largest producer of marine and freshwater capture fisheries and the second largest aquaculture farmed fish producer in the world. Fish as food, both from fish farms and catch fisheries, offers India one of the easiest and fastest way to address malnutrition and food security and despite rapid growth in total fish production, a fish farmers’ average annual production in India is only two tonnes per person. Higher productivity, knowledge transfer for sustainable fishing, continued growth in fish production with increase in fish exports have the potential for increasing the living standards of Indian fishermen. Lately, fish harvest distribution was difficult within India because of poor rural road infrastructure, lack of cold storage and absence of organized retail in most parts of the country. Lately, Indian fishers quickly overfished their own waters and production plummeted. But the present trend is encouraging for India with other seafood producing regions under stress. But the growth has also downsides to the fishermen of India. "- As mentioned in the beginning of the story the boatmen of Varanasi has illnesses and they have also complained that due to pollution, accumulation of plastic down the river, dirt gets stuck in the motor and they have to get down in the water to fix the problem, remain wet in the boat until their destination is reached and the most common illness is common cold. Statistically significant association between type of boat and morbidity among boatmen was found", the photographer says.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a fisherman in Varanasi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.