Gulam Mustafa was one of my main fisher folk informants. He had several businesses that he ran, but he also had a lot of knowledge and the equipment related to fishing.
One of my main informants in Harappa Town was an elderly man named Baba Yaqoob. He was retired at the time during the mid-1990s, while his sons worked their land as well as a vegetable stand on the western side of Harappa.
The main fish markets near the modern village of Harappa were within the village itself as well as the District market in the local District center, Sahiwal.
Most of the fisher folk have a low-tech way of getting the fish to the market – primarily burlap bags and a bicycle. Often the fish are sold to passers-by as the fisher folk will have a scale to weigh the fish in kilograms.
The River Ravi is a meandering river that travels back and forth across its alluvial plain leaving a series of landscape scars of old river channels.
Another type of fishing method seen in the Punjab was a type of conical fish trap. The trap was a multi-leg frame covered with a net.
The older nets that were observed in the Punjab had net weights that were made of fired clay, while the modern ones used standard lead net weights.
Seine nets are the dominant net used to harvest fish in the oxbows. Again, the “eye” or mesh size of the net is controlled by the Punjabi government, but allow the oxbows to be harvested through a series of sweeps across the entire body of water.
One of the main methods of catching fish is using casting or throw nets. The mesh size (or “eye”) is currently controlled by fisheries laws by the Punjab Province. However, mesh size will vary depending on the target species of fish.