Dakshin’s work on reduction fisheries – latest updates from Mangalore

By Abhilasha Sharma | After a thorough planning and ideation phase, our project on reduction fisheries has now taken off in full swing! Reduction fisheries refer to the conversion or reduction of fish caught from the oceans into products like fish meal and fish oil (FMFO) to make feed for industries like poultry and aquaculture. Converting large volumes of fish catch into FMFO rather than using it for direct human consumption can have multiple implications, not only for ecology, but also for the nutritional security and well-being of fishing communities. However, a lack of adequate information on the sector makes it difficult to address these implications. In its initial phase, this project, in collaboration with WWF-India, seeks to develop a broad understanding of the reduction fisheries sector in India.

Humans of the Sea – Saw Thesorow

“I met Saw Thesorow in 2010, when I joined the leatherback monitoring camps in Little Andaman, where we spent 3-4 months on the remote beaches of South and West bay cut off from the outside world. Thesorow’s familiarity with the work and the place, and his quick thinking were always something we could rely on. He always trusted his instincts and had a very balanced approach to problem-solving. Through the years my relationship with him has evolved from being a field assistant, a friend, to a brother.” – Adhith Swaminathan, Base Manager, ANET

From Zoom to Wide: Life lessons from photographer Palani Kumar 

By Pradeep Elangovan | The black and white image is still floating in my mind. Whether it had colour or not, I am not able to clearly remember. The girl child in this image, with tears welling up in her eyes, watching her father’s corpse lying beside the glass dead body freezer box, still haunts me. Her father worked as a manual scavenger. The photo of the wailing woman kissing her husband’s corpse has a similar effect on me. Those two moments were given a voice by photographer Palani Kumar. Palani constantly keeps rotating his camera’s eye searching for millions of yet unspoken marginalized people and objects, presenting their hidden worlds and dreams to the world.

The CWE Programme and the importance of building networks

By Kanishk Srinivasan | While working under the banner of Dakshin’s Community Wellbeing and Environment Programme, a significant chunk of our work in the last few months has been building collaborations and partnerships with other organisations, activists and experts in the various fields that we’re attempting to work in. To provide a few examples, the Health team has built collaborations with community based organizations and youth groups active in our field sites in South Andaman and Odisha. The health and livelihoods sub-programmes have also brought Dr Abhijit Das and Venkatesh Salagrama on board as advisors to learn from their expertise in these areas and to improve programme planning and implementation.

What’s brewing at Current Conservation?

By Devathi Parashuram and Greta Ann Sam | A lot, as it turns out. How is it already 2022?! Last year was action-packed for Team CC. We brought out three issues of the magazine: 15.1 and 15.2 which are, as always, freely available for download on the website. And 15.3, which was a special issue on ‘African conservation today: New trends, perspectives and opportunities’, guest edited by Fred Nelson and Gladys-Kalema Zikusoka, and launched in December 2021 at the 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. 
Due to the volume of high quality submissions we have been receiving and the limited space in the quarterly print magazine, we are publishing more and more online-only articles. As a result of this, the total number of articles we published in 2021 was more than double that of 2020.

How Literacy and Numeracy Will Help Save the Environment

By Karishma Modi | Sea-turtles brought Dakshin Foundation to the Andman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and Odisha. Over time, it became more and more apparent that the complete well-being of communities in close physical, economic and cultural proximity to the oceans and other marine ecosystems needed to be prioritised by any organisation with a long-standing connection to a place. Dakshin Foundation’s Environmental Education (EE) and Community Well-being and Environment (CWE) Programmes do just that: prioritise communities in the coastal and island geographies of India. Our interventions, that problematise education and practices related to health in these communities, are responding to community needs and building solutions from the ground up.

A Life Full of Uncertainties

By Anand Rao, Biswa Swaroop and Madhuri Mondal | The well-being of the small-scale fishing communities across our coasts are increasingly threatened by dwindling livelihoods, decreasing access to coastal commons due to poor developmental plans, lesser food security and nutrition, and poor access to healthcare. In 2019, Dakshin Foundation conducted a scoping study in Odisha and South Andaman to understand the wellbeing needs of the fishing communities. These studies raised critical points regarding the health and safety of the fishers and their families. We have grouped them into the following two categories: Health issues faced by fishing communities;
Health & safety issues faced at sea

A Day with Dakshin

By Namrata Lunia | Dakshin Foundation turned 13 on the 22nd of July, 2021, and to celebrate the occasion, we invited our online community to spend the day with us (virtually) on the 24th of July, Saturday. Registrations opened up a week before and with over 100 registrations, the response to the event exceeded our expectations!  
The virtual meet was divided into six sessions, where the audience got to meet and interact with members of our programmes. The main goal was to provide the larger Dakshin online community with the opportunity to ask questions and learn about our work.

As varied questions poured in from people from different walks of life, it was extremely encouraging to see high levels of interest not just in the work that we do but also in the preservation of the environment and livelihoods.