Kumar Sahayaraju

Senior Programme Associate – Sustainable Fisheries


B.Tech in Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai (2015).

MSc in Marine Biotechnology, University of Stirling, Scotland (2018)

E-mail: kumar@dakshin.org


Kumar is an emerging marine researcher from an indigenous fishing community in Kerala. He has post-graduated from the University of Stirling with a prestigious UK Chevening Scholarship. After completion of his postgraduate studies, he worked as a Research Assistant for the University of Sussex in a project called ‘Forecasting with Fishermen: Co-Production of ocean weather knowledge with artisanal fishermen of South West India’ funded by LRGS, UK. Being an engineer in Biotechnology, an indigenous fisherman and a scuba diver, he also has the experience of working with organisations like Friends of Marine Life (FML), an indigenous marine research organisation in Kerala and M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in the capacity of a marine researcher, climate activist and community youth leader. During his work with FML and MSSRF, he documented the details of seabed ecosystems and natural reefs in the Southeastern Arabian Sea and maintained a database of marine biodiversity in this region. Experience with these research organisations equipped him to plan and implement tasks in a result-oriented manner and to efficiently communicate data and reports to the scientific and fisher communities.

As a founding member of the student-led organisation Coastal Students Cultural Forum (CSCF) in Kerala, he is undertaking marine environment-related voluntary activism and promoting ocean literacy with coastal youth and students. He has also volunteered with Radio Kadal – a community radio for fishers in Trivandrum and with Climate Science, Ireland, on climate education in India. He is one of the featured resource persons on the UN Ocean Literacy Programme and engaging on climate change, conservation of marine resources and issues of indigenous fishers in South India.

He is working with Dakshin in the Sustainable Fisheries programme on a recently-launched project in Lakshadweep Islands that aims to bring together various fisheries stakeholders for participatory management of fishery resources. His role largely involves working towards creating and facilitating an initiative of fisheries co-management that is inclusive and integrates different stakeholders.


  • Marine Ecosystems in Changing world and Livelihood of Indigenous Fishers: Case Study from Trivandrum Coast (2021), Sahayaraju, K, Kara- Kadal-Kalavastha
  • Loss of Marine Fish Stock in southwest India: Examining the Causes from the Perspective of Indigenous Fishermen (2021), Sahayaraju, K & Jament, J. Fisheries Journal 5-9-9
  • Prediction of Toll-Like Receptor Gene Family in Asian Sea Bass (2019 )
  • Cebeci, A., Saltan, A.N., & Sahayaraju, K. Genetics of Aquatic Organisms, 3, 79-91.