Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Change that made sense- Fishing License

By reading "Kuchu and Kumbu" story in our primary school we were supposed to learn a lesson but as always many things we were taught in school were for the sake of occupying the teaching time and should not be taken seriously. A tank in Phuntsholing is over populated with fishes and "authorities are finding ways to relocate them". Why waste money in something that should be bringing profit instead? Simple solution to the problem is to harvest the fishes but unfortunately those fishes are not meant for killing. They are for decoration? If we are really concerned about killing, why are we importing fishes from India? All in all it is another Potato and Chips story!

For that matter our rivers are so full of fishes but only flood can kill them. Million of new fishes are born each year to die their natural death. It's just matter of common sense, which we have least. After all we are buying fishes for outside, what is sense in forbidding fishing? 

I salute the minister of agriculture for being wise enough to grant fishing license to the villagers of a remote corner in Wangdue (from BBS TV). Throughout history the village lived on fishing but so far they were crippled by the law forbidding their livelihood. Minister educated the farmers (lets call them fishermen) on sustainable fishing, which made more sense. This day will go down in history as the "day Bhutanese made sense"!

Read Detailed report on the project in Business Bhutan

6 comments:

  1. My apologies for the link at the sidebar at http://bhutanblogs.com I fixed it.

    And a great post as always...:) keep writing!

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  2. Hi PaSsu,

    It is not only the people of Ada in Wangdue who have been deprived of their traditional source of sustenance; we have another village in Kheng who have suffered as well. This village is called Berti. The people from this village too lived off the Mangde-Chu for generations until the government decided to impose restrictions on their fishing traditions.

    Same thing also applies to the collection and trade in Cordyceps. The government, under a misconception, banned the collection of Cordyceps until few years back while turning a blind eye to the marauding Tibetans across the border who plundered these medicinal worms year after year. Fortunately, the ban has been lifted a few years back and people have benefitted immensely.

    While the government has gone and imposed ban on certain traditional lifestyle, it has failed to do away with some that continue to cause great hardship to some sections of the society. One tradition that needs to be done away with immediately is the annual migration of livestock from one region to another. In the past, the powerful rich families in the North were given grazing rights to graze their animal in the lands belonging to the poor people in the South (not Southern Bhutan). There are numerous problems associated with this and I do not want to go into it. But certainly, there is a need for the government to put its foot down and say: NO MORE! Some years back there was a discussion on this but it was opposed to by some interest group.

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  3. Bhutanblogs, thank you for the instant respond, and thank you more for coming up with the great site which stands as a directory of Bhutan blogs. Looking forward to seeing all the blogs featured there...

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  4. Yeshey,
    Living next door to Ada I didn't know they were fishermen down their history until lately. And thank god I knew it right when they were given the right to fish.
    I am hopeful that it is only matter of time until the people of Kheng Berti are given their ancestral right.
    Thank you for sharing on the Cordyceps issue, I was ignorant about it, but things are straightened now.
    I will be interested to learn about the graze land issue of the south...if you ever agree on writing on it!

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  5. Dear Passu,

    We had a detailed story here on the fishing rights issue.

    http://www.businessbhutan.bt/?p=2654

    ReplyDelete
  6. Business Bhutan, Thanks for the visit. I visited the link you provided- found it enlightening, Yeshey's mention of Kheng village is also taken care of there... Lets hope your widely read paper helps people in that corner get their right sooner.

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