M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) stands for Harnessing science and technology for sustainable development through a pro-poor, pro nature, pro women and pro-sustainability approach. The foundation also believes in combining modern science with action research to influence policy issues. MSSRF works in the areas of Coastal Systems Research, Biodiversity, Biotechnology, Eco-technology, Food Security and Information, Education, and Communication. The programme coastal system research is dealing with Fisheries and coastal ecosystem management.
The main aim of the Coastal System Research Programme (CSR) is to integrate livelihood security of coastal communities and ecological security of coastal systems for the sustainable development of the coastal zone. Fish for All Research and Training Centre is an arm under CSR and it is mainly focusing on improving the socioeconomic condition of coastal fishing and farming communities adopt a holistic approach in sustainable fisheries resource management, sustainable livelihood options, disaster preparedness, and management.
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) initiated its mangrove conservation and sustainable fisheries programme all along the East Coast of India to enhance the ecological security of the coastal areas and the livelihood security of the coastal communities. The main objective of the programme is
To restore and sustain critical coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, coral reefs, and coastal forests
To promote the adoption of responsible and sustainable fishing practices through knowledge and skill enhancement
To strengthen the resilience of fishing communities to climate change
MSSRF working with the coastal communities to conserve and manage this important ecosystem. It has restored nearly 2500 ha of degraded mangroves through participatory management in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Maharashtra. The fish for all centers is promoting awareness and educating fishers on sustainable use of marine resources. Artisanal fishers are provided with access to ocean-related information, sustainable use of fish resources and hygienic handling information through fisher friend mobile application. The information on pelagic fish shoal from the application helps only to catch pelagic fish resources and encourage fishers to use surface gillnetting. With the facility of GPS in the application, the fishers are able to mark the important marine hotspots in the sea for the protection and sustainable use of the resources.
Participatory research, action, and monitoring with stakeholders
Promotion of gender-balanced grass root institutions
Technology support and Incubation: Techniques or interventions which are easily adaptable by the stakeholders would be identified, initiated and de-mystified
Enhance knowledge, skills and bring changes in attitude and behavior
Networking and sharing of resources for sustainable livelihoods and management of resources
Communication and Policy advocacy
1. About 500 ha of mangroves restored and 3000 of healthy mangroves protected in East coasts of India with the participation of stakeholders
2. Strengthened the resilience of 50000 small scale fisher community to climate change through MSSRF Fisher Friend Program
3. A minimum of 10000 small-scale fishers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry region acquired knowledge on sustainable and responsible fishing practices
Staff / Technical expertise
Financial resources mobilised from state and centre governments through projects. Also the staff of the foundation act as experts for government and other agencies for achieving the tasks
Staff / Technical expertise
Some financial resources available to undertake this task for remaining upscaling the interventions through government engagement and policy advocacy
Through government and CSR programmes, project and schemes and projects this commitment will be achieved.