KHOMOTA: A mini-documentary about Sawfish Conservation in Bangladesh

Khomota, the mini-documentary, tells the story of how disempowerment of fishers significantly impacts both conservation of sawfish (and rays, and sharks too) and the life of fishers in Bangladesh.

Khomota (ক্ষমতা) in Bangla means power, authority, and right to govern or rule or determine. And, Khomota (ক্ষমতা) is also something that the fishers do not have in the Bay of Bengal fisheries governance.

Populations of more and more marine species are threatened in the Bay of Bengal. Scientists, governments, NGOs are trying to find different ways of marine wildlife and fisheries conservation. But the big question is, how just and effective is our current conservation approach without the leadership of fishing communities? The film tries to answer this question. 

The film features Mahtub Khan Badhon (Lecturer, Zoology Department, Dhaka University) and Mohammad Arju (Director, Sagar Seba) to analyze the major features of Bangladesh’s current marine conservation governance regime. 

Visuals in the film present a representative narrative of artisanal fishing in Bangladesh. In the film, Arju and Badhon talk about the interfaces of exclusionary practices in conservation and the lack of procedural-recognitional-distributive justice in Bay of Bengal fisheries.

Arju and Badhon highlight exclusionary and unjust practices in wildlife conservation in the Bay of Bengal and how they undermine the fishers’ quality of life and the stewardship in conservation governance. Their interviews focus on various aspects of the issue, emphasizing mobilizing local knowledge and empowering local fishers. 

Video URL: https://youtu.be/jWYRfFJKUzM

Created by: Nasib Ahsan

Location: Various locations across the Bay of Bengal and the coasts in Bangladesh

Video language: Bangla

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