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Objective: The study would try to find out fishers socio-economic status, fishing as a means of livelihood and its economic viability and income equality among them in order to suggest measures to improve their living conditions.
Methods: Primary data were collected from the fishers by using pre-tested interview schedule, B:C ratio to see the economic viability, Lorenz curve and Gini index in order to find out the income inequality among them.
Findings: The Kolleru being largest freshwater lake in India is recognised as internationally important wetlands by the RAMSAR convention. It not only renders eco services but also as an important means of livelihood for nearby villages. Nearly for 6-7 months fishers are getting direct benefits by fishing. The living condition is quite satisfactory as majority of them are living in pucca houses. Their monthly average income is about ₹11740 which is significantly different from the income obtained from alternative livelihood sources (₹10572) as p value of Z test is less than 0.05. The B:C ratio of 1.33 reveals that fishing is profitable for them. The income equality among fishers is measured by using Lorenz curve and Gini index and their respective values of 0.086 and 0.173 tell that inequality among them is very less.
Application: Encouraging women to take part in post-harvest works and preparation of value added products will increase their monthly income. Provisions for the agriculture development will provide alternative livelihood during off season. Communities must bear the responsibility to keep the Lake healthy in order to act not only as a means of livelihood for fishers but also for the eco services it renders. The extension services for creation of such responsibility among communities and fishers through department of fisheries are highly recommended.