Using the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF),this study traces the livelihood conditions of a coastal community located in Kanniyakumari district in south India. From a vulnerable, pre-modern phase, this fishing group, by adapting to technologically advanced craft and gears moved into a more dynamic phase of modernisation with diverse livelihood opportunities. Unfortunately later, this fishing community began to suffer economically as the use of harmful gears in their boats resulted in the decimation of marine resources and subsequently a reduction in their income. In the absence of any institutional support mechanism to sustain them, fishing households have begun looking outside their home environs for economic opportunities to better their living conditions. One of the more significant ways through which the fishing community has been able to cope with its strained circumstances is to migrate to the Gulf countries.