Priyankar Chakraborty

THT Seed Grant (February 2023)

Project Name:

Fishers' knowledge of guitarfish in the Sundarbans, India

Project Brief:

This project aims to gather ecological knowledge from fishers to understand the current status of guitarfish (referring to guitarfish, wedgefish and giant guitarfish collectively) in the Sundarbans of India.

The project will provide a baseline knowledge of the current status of these endangered fish, including information on their habits, habitats and the threats they face in the region. The data collected will be used to develop recommendations to improve local conservation and sustainable management of these fish. Sundarbans is surrounded by mangrove forests, and the reliance on wild resources (especially wild aquatic resources) is high in the area. People tend to exploit these resources due to recurring natural disasters, climate change and poverty. Several species of critically endangered guitarfish are known to occur in the area, but their presence and the threats they face are unknown.

Project objectives:
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of guitarfish in the Sundarbans of India: list species (their presence, abundance and socio-economic value) and document the threats they face.
  • Discuss issues related to the conservation of guitarfish in the region with fishers through community-based consultations.
  • Conduct workshops to disseminate the results of the project to the fishers.