Day Three – Visiting the village of Mahipur

Tuesday morning, day three began in the village of Mahipur on the coast, not far from Sikder Resort where we are staying. Today was field work and started with a crowd from the village of local men and women who had come to hear about our work, participate in research or get their donated sunglasses!

There were some official presentations, including a researcher from the Bangladesh Research Fisheries Institute, a Commander from the Coastguard, a senior district officer from the Department of Fisheries and the President of the Owner’s Association. Following that, Debbie and I started some chaotic interviews with about 20 fishermen’s wives with the help of our excellent translator Srita. Tragically, every one of them had lost someone in their family through fishing and for many, this included their husbands. Being the main bread winner, this massively impacted on their families. The women’s main safety concerns for their men at sea were about the lack of communications and GPS on board the trawlers. This is crucial to navigate back to shore and to stay in touch out at sea about changing whether conditions or other issues. Mobile phones only have reception up until about 40km out to sea and are no good after that. Lack of life jackets was another concern. The ones we did see on board a vessel later were in a very poor state.

Meanwhile, Darren and Sazedul distributed 100 sunglasses to the fishermen alongside 50 wound care packs through the re-FISH initiative ( These will help to protect the fishermen out at sea and in the meantime make for some great photos! Ilana drew a large crowd asking the fishermen about their health and the accidents that they have had at sea. Back pain and stomach problems were very common.

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