For thousands of years, the people of the Ganges delta have been fishing in the Bay of Bengal. Fish is one of the most essential foods in this region, and a whole nation describes itself with the proverb "Rice and fish, that's Bangladesh." Over the centuries, little has changed in the lives of the Bangladeshi fishermen - and if it wasn't for the small but loud diesel engines in their boats, you could indeed feel like being somewhere in the past. There are still only a few big trawlers or harbors - the fishing boats are pulled up on the beach by hand every day.
Other changes, however, badly afflict the fishermen and their villages. Due to climate change, cyclones are happening more frequently and fiercely, devastating the coastal area and destroying the fishermen's houses, boats and nets. Sidr, for example, hit the coast of Bangladesh on November 15, 2007, and left a trail of chaos. Thousands died and countless people lost their shelter and their livelihood.
Overfishing and pollution also hamper the fishermen's lives. More and more nets remain empty because of the shrinking population of big fish. In order to survive, the fishermen go for the small, young fish swarming the shallow coastal waters - thus further contributing to the decimation of the fish population.