Published: 21st April 2022
This Kerala doctoral student has won a prestigious grant for marine conservation and sustainable fishing.
The project outcomes will have beneficial applications for the Kerala deep-water shrimp fishery, which was awarded £44,310 in 2021 from the MSC Transition Assistance Fund
Saranya A Sankar is a Kerala doctoral student who has been granted funds by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Her project is one among the 22 projects and fisheries initiatives from 12 countries to have been granted funds by this internationally-recognised sustainable seafood certification and ecolabelling programme.
A research scholar with CUSAT (Cochin University of Science and Technology) and the Sustainable Seafood Network of India (SSNI), Saranya was awarded MSC’s OSF Student Research Grant of USD 6,500 to help the Kerala shrimp and cephalopod trawl fishery improvement project (FIP) progress towards achieving MSC certification by 2024.
MSC awards a total of USD 9,36,000 in the form of grants ranging from USD 6,500 to USD 68,000 each to fisheries, scientists, NGOs and students from different countries to aid international efforts in marine conservation and sustainable fishing.
According to Saranya, MSC stands for protecting the future of oceanic resources.
"It encourages everyone to move towards sustainable use of fish stocks without exploiting it. The organisation brings people, technology, science and policy together for the conservation of oceans. I believe MSC's work in India will help achieve fisheries sustainability soon. I am very excited to be a part of this journey,” she said.
The Kerala trawl fishery is in a comprehensive FIP and targets shrimp and cephalopod. But, a mixture of high fuel prices, overdependence on bycatch for sustenance and failure to modernise and adopt sustainable fishing practices means there is an urgent need to manage these fisheries properly. To do that, Saranya will be developing a framework that uses management strategy evaluation (MSE) tools. The study will collect information through a survey with fishery managers, fishers and researchers, which will be used to develop an MSE framework.
The project outcomes will have beneficial applications for the Kerala deep-water shrimp fishery, which was awarded £44,310 in 2021 from the MSC Transition Assistance Fund.