Shifting fish and fisheries: Examining fishers and seafood trade responses to shifting fish distributions in India

Project Team: Divya Karnad, Debayan Gupta
Researchers: Narayani Subramaniam, Renuka Yadav, Yadukrishna KR

Project start: 2022

Focus Areas:

Coastal regions have seen major climatic changes over the last century, including changes in distribution of fish species. Such shifts are only beginning to be documented scientifically in India, and our understanding of the impact it will have on local and regional economies is miniscule.

In this era, where climate change impacts are already obvious, this project will synthesise ecological, economic and citizen sourced information to describe and quantify marine ecological changes and corresponding human responses on the east and west coasts of India. By developing a mobile application to collect crowd-sourced data from fishing harbours across the country, the project will characterise shifts in the availability of different commercially fished marine species.

We will assess these shifts more systematically at two sites each at the northern and southern regions of India’s east and west coast. At these study sites, we will also examine how fishing communities react to such changes, alongside other social, economic and regulatory forces that affect their lives.

We will then simulate the implications of such changes for seafood supplies across India. The information generated will be used to create awareness among seafood eaters, as well as to recommend fisheries policy.