Chamakkala fishermen occasionally compare fishing with hunting (nayattu). Abounding in dangers and potential failure, both aim at the killing (samharam)
of life. From the viewpoint of a Brahmanical ideology, this poses a
moral dilemma. Hunting and fishing are depreciated activities that
stand in opposition to the ideal of non-violence towards living beings (ahimsa).
But what about the fishermen's ideology" The material presented in the
last chapter suggests that the answer may be found in the fishermen's
perception of relating to the marine environment socially. But how is
this sociality constituted" In this chapter I explore two modes. One is
the direct interaction between the fishermen and the sea, the other
operates through the mediation of ritual experts and deities. In this
context the enquiry must then turn towards what it means to kill fish.