Seabed ecosystems and indigenous livelihoods

The word “Kadalamma” meaning Mother Ocean has been used for many generations to refer to the sea.

Kumar Sahayaraju

Indigenous fisherman, marine researcher and Chevening scholar Kumar Sahayaraju, gave the January 2022 seminar as part of the Seabed Habitats Seminar Series. Kumar spoke of the indigenous knowledge of the Mukkuva indigenous fishing community in India. The community has seen a close connection with the sea for generations and depend on it for their livelihood. Due to the increasing pressures of large scale industrial development at this coast, marine habitats rich in biodiversity have deteriorated after being neglected. Kumar brought attention to this issue through his seminar and by fostering collaborations with scientists as well as the general public. Citizen science initiatives involving the indigenous fishermen, ocean literacy initiatives to encourage a greater connection with the ocean habitats, and more extensive scientific insights into management are all possible solutions. Furthermore, indigenous knowledge needs to be adequately recorded and documented in order to be preserved for future generations. We would like to cordially thank Kumar for joining us and bringing light to this issue, which has parallels around the world.