The magazine of the photo-essay
Jan 2018 back issue
BheriFish Harvest, West Bengal
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by Ritesh RoyChowdhury
West Bengal, a state of India, is commonly known for agriculture but it is also the only state where fish cultivation is done on a large scale. West Bengal has become home to numerous man-made canals and lakes, constructed for the purpose of fish harvesting. The cost of establishing such an area is huge and the cost of maintenance is high. These fish harvesting businesses are often handled by one man with an assistant and workers. The locals call them "Bheri”. After making all possible arrangements to run a successful business, there are still many obstacles and unprecedented incidents such as storms, water pollution, excessive rainfall and labor and worker management issues. In such cases loss becomes unavoidable and high. Some have the strength to fight these hindrances and continue for the next season while others pack up and set off for other jobs. I have tried to document a whole morning of the fishermen’s activities, during winter season when working in dense fog and cold is hard. I wish to go back again and continue this story, but ‘til then, this is what I have.
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