Transregional Planning Grants


The objective of this proposed planning project is to convene an international, interdisciplinary group of scholars who conduct research on fisheries across four Indian Ocean countries – India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Tanzania. Collectively, we plan to develop a comparative project that investigates emerging economic and environmental changes in the region and how these are mediated by intersectional social relations: gender, ethnicity/race, caste, class, and place. Our overarching research question is to understand how different regional social economies of fisheries in the Indian Ocean shape possibilities for adaptation to rupture.

Principal Investigators

Gayathri Lokuge

Senior Researcher, Centre for Poverty Analysis

My initial interest in ocean related studies was triggered by my curiosity about the complex life realities of fishing communities in coastal Sri Lanka, that warrants an 'embedded' or more social anthropological lens, a methodological approach of which I have always been passionate about. In Sri Lanka, as a lead researcher in a local think tank, this interest led me to study how small-scale fisheries were re/shaped by the civil war in the country, and coast-to-coast migration patterns, drawing out relevant policy messages. This interest culminated in my PhD, as part of an eight-year cross-country research cluster, studying how different identity categories of people shape fishers' livelihoods, using theoretical lenses of sociology of economic life, intersectionality and masculinities studies, via ethnographic methods, which provided the basis for journal publications, working papers, photo essays and infographic posters. My regional and global fisheries related networks include being PI of a Transregional Collaboratory on the Indian Ocean funded grant titled "Rupture, Gendered Adaptation, and the Social Economy of Indian Ocean Fisheries,” a member of the Too Big To Ignore and Dried Fish Matters. These networks exposed me to a rich set of ideas, inter-disciplinary approaches to the study of the ocean and the people dependent on it, and the space to share, reflect and learn. My current post-doctoral research in Cambodia, through the Dried Fish Matters project, coordinating the scoping research phase of the seven-year study, has exposed me further to the regional dynamics of fisheries.

Amalendu Jyotishi

Faculty, School of Development, Azim Premji University

Dr. Amalendu Jyotishi is professor at the School of Development, Azim Premji University. His research work covers issues relating to natural resources and institutions from institutional economics, legal pluralism, property rights, and historical perspectives. He has several, research papers, book chapters, and a couple of books to his credit apart from several conference papers and proceedings, popular articles, and book reviews. He is one of the core research members of Asian Initiative on Legal Pluralism and was the coordinator of the group during the period 2012 to 2015. He was also an Executive Committee member of Indian Society for Ecological Economics during 2018–2020. His current portfolio of research interests includes fish for food security, dried fish value chain, Village Commons, and sustainability in subsistence economy. Dr. Jyotishi has collaborated in research projects supported by organizations like the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Swedish International Development Agency, World Bank, International Water Management Institute, Oxfam (GB) Trust, Aga Khan Rural Support Program (India), South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, Australian Research Council, Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and Canada and Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is also an advisor to an online video magazine on development and environment issues named as Re[View],, and part of the scholars tracing the 200-year-old local history through He writes poems in his personal blog and in His University profile can be found in:

Holly Hapke

Director of Research Development, School of Social Sciences, UC Irvine

Dr. Holly Hapke is a geographer and interdisciplinary social scientist with research interests in political economy, rural development, gender, fisheries and food production systems, livelihoods, migration, and ecological conflict. Her research projects have examined the impact of technological transformation and globalization on artisanal fishing communities, fish markets, and fisherfolk livelihoods in India; technological transformation in the flue-cured tobacco industry of eastern North Carolina; transnational Latinx migration in the US South; and the cultural impacts of Gulf migration in India. Current projects include (a) a transdisciplinary study of the role of fisheries in food security for the urban poor in India and Ghana (FISH4FOOD); and (b) a study of the social economy of dried fish in India with collaborators in India and Canada (Dried Fish Matters). She is currently a research scientist and Director of Research Development in the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine where she facilitates the development of inter- and transdisciplinary team science research projects.


Karin Fernando

Senior Research Professional, Centre for Poverty Analysis

Derek Johnson

Professor, University of Manitoba Department of Anthropology

Kyoko Kusakabe

Professor, Asian Institute of Technology

Ajit Menon

Joeri Scholtens