The FIMSUL programme is a coordinated study involving the FAO and the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry to undertake a detailed analysis of various stakeholders and their livelihoods in the concerned districts of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. FERAL undertook the study in Pondicherry and the district of Cuddalore. The programme in both districts involved identifying the multiple stakeholders in the fisheries sector, through participative methodologies, notified to us by the FAO periodically. These involved district-level consultations of all stakeholders, focus group discussions of the various stakeholder groups, household level interviews and district level validation meetings. The problem of overcapacity in fishing, increased competition in production and marketing; high levels of indebtedness among fishing families and the lack of any relevant managerial or regulatory interventions were some of the central features of learning through this study.
The final reports after the completion of the study were duly sent to the FIMSUL team, after holding four different validation meetings in both districts involving different stakeholders who all largely related to and identified with the list of findings that emerged out of the study. Along with the analysis of livelihoods, information regarding some of the formal and informal institutions were also compiled and submitted.