Natural Resource Management and Livelihoods

Freshwater fishes are intricately linked to the livelihoods of an as-yet unknown number of rural communities in the Western Ghats providing a range of benefits including a source of food for the local population and income for the fishers and market traders in the region. Freshwater fisheries in this region are however under increasing pressure due to dwindling populations of important harvested species coupled with poor governance and institutional support. The growing concerns over actual and/or potential depletion of many species, and the social and economic hardships that will befall upon people in such resource-dependent communities make freshwater fisheries management an urgent priority. However, the remote locations and data-sparse nature of such fisheries has meant that their management is an ultimate challenge.

The Natural Resource Management and Livelihoods group at CRGCS works towards improving our understanding of freshwater fish species, corresponding small scale fisheries and their role in the livelihood portfolio of local communities in the Western Ghats, Hotspot with an aim to develop management guidelines. As much of the fisheries is data-poor in nature, the group uses an integrated research approach that uses methods from biological, socio-economic, ethno-ecological and management sciences to seek answers to some important questions, and fill in the knowledge gaps.

Collaborating Institutes

1) Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, UK
2) New England Aquarium, Boston, USA
3) Institute of Sufficiency Economy Research and Promotion (ISERP), Chiang Mai University, Thailand
4) Laboratory of Conservation Biology, Department of Zoology, University of Kerala, Trivandrum, India

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