sensitizing the local fishermen of Chilika lagoon.

The Chilika Lagoon is the largest lagoon of India. With the flow of fresh water from the northern side and the entry of sea water from the southern side makes it a serene environment for many flora and fauna. It is the home to Irawady Dolphins, foraging area to 0.98 million migratory birds and serving home to seagrasses of 6 species. The Chilika Lagoon is the bread and butter of 192 fishing communities who regularly visit Lagoon for catching fishes. Due to overfishing or due to inappropriate nets the biodiversity of chilika is hampered. So to make them aware about the biodiversity mostly the importance of the microbes, zooplankton  for the fishes, there was a field trip arranged for the local fishermen. During this field the fishermen were taught about the importance of seagrasses how they harbour the fishes during their juvenile period and were also taught about the threats and conservation methods for seagrasses. The foldscope was used to show them the zooplanktons, the larvaes of fishes and prawns to make deep impact of how these can hamper their long time fish availability. With the hope of making changes, this was the first step was taken to enlighten the importance of the biodiversity of the Chilika to the local fishermen. A sustained environment would lead to a better future was the motto that was expected to be taught here.

how to use the foldscope to see larvae
after the explanation of how to observe the fishermen took turns to see the larvae of prawn under the foldscope

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:


    This is fantastic. What a phenomenal location and critical for communities to engage. Please connect with Kim Blue in Philippines as well. Here is her contact information.


  2. Tulasi Mastanamma says:

    Very good initiative, if we could able to reach public to create awareness among them with Foldscope, that’s wonderful work

  3. Gurdeep Rastogi says:

    Thanks Manu for encouragement. We are excited about foldscopes as a simple tool and I am sure that it will strengthen our idea that resource users can also be best resource managers, if sensitised properly.
    thank you
    Gurdeep Rastogi

  4. kim@bigblue says:

    Hi Gurdeep, I just saw your post – great work! I am at the Int’l Marine Conservation Congress in Malaysia this week and met with amazing people working on seagrass. Can you please send me an email so we can connect to talk about your work and I can share what I learned? Thanks!

  5. Gurdeep Rastogi says:

    Hello Kim

    Would be nice to discuss more on this. We work extensively on seagrasses their diversity and conservation in
    Chilika lagoon and would love to be part of seagrass working group.

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