Alifa Bintha Haque

Marine biologist focused on sustainable fisheries and conserving sharks and rays in the Bay of Bengal

Alifa is currently in her final year of doctoral studies at the Nature-based Solutions Initiative in the Dept. of Biology, Oxford, with the support of a Bangabandhu Scholarship. Alifa works at the challenging intersection of endangered species conservation and fisheries as a means of livelihood generation for fishers of Bangladesh. Her research- “Towards a socially just sustainable fishery preserving sharks and rays in the Bay of Bengal”, aims to prepare a sustainability model (replicable for similar contexts in the Global South) for threatened species of sharks and rays in close conjunction with the fishing communities. It places a locally-driven, bottom-up approach from academic literature to action, a narrative absent in the current management regimes. Alifa created a platform for research-based conservation actions collaborating with local fishers and traders to fill the dearth of knowledge on sharks and rays in Bangladesh and initiating actions for mitigating impacts. She has launched a collaborative project involving fishers in knowledge co-creation and decision-making. Since 2021, 5 fishing vessels voluntarily collect spatial data using a mobile app. This endeavour is a pilot for an technological innovation “FishSafe”, an audio-visual device to record by-catch events at sea. Alifa‚Äôs vision is to generate a context-appropriate, community-empowered and collaborative fishery model with preservation and sustainability at its core.

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