25 Nov 2015

Versova Village

Versova Village. 

Versova village or to be exact, the mangroves near Yaari Road, has been in the news in the last couple of days and I was blissfully unaware that such an issue was looming when I went for a walk around the village on Saturday, November the 21st, 2015. That was also because the dumping of building materials in the channel that supplies water to the mangroves during the high tide hadn't probably started.

My original intention was to shoot pictures of the mangroves around the village, but when I got there, I got distracted by all the buzz around the fishing boats that have arrived or were preparing to leave, the fishermen, kids playing on the beach and the colours of the place, especially the dark-grey water that the Oshiwara nullah or river was inking the water in the creek with.

These cans are filled with diesel that will last the 8-9 day trips (according to the crew) deep into the sea. The current fishing grounds are about 8-10 hours away (we Mumbaikars measure distance in time). There are smaller boats too that go 2-3 day fishing expeditions. A fisherman told me that they have boats that pool in the catch from the fishing grounds and bring them back but I couldn't find one of those boats to confirm what he said.

If you are wondering which direction they go in, it depends on season. It is usually North West towards the Gujarat coast. Sometimes it's directly into the sea towards the west or it could be southwards off the Ratnagiri coast.

The fishing grounds are also used by boats from other fishing ports along the coast. They compete with a fishing armada from Guajrat, Ratnagiri coast and Goa.

This is Viraj Vasavekar holding freshly landed catch of cutter or cuttlefish. He is in the fish business and according to him, almost most of the catch is exported and is not for the domestic market. Many of the species caught are not popular in the local market and they fetch a better price overseas. He also said that business is not bad for him at the moment.

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