Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Rivers have a multitude of important functions and provide crucial services to millions of people. However, rivers currently face severe anthropogenic threats due to an expanding human population and a surge in water demand. The fish species present within rivers provide a source of protein to some poorer sections of communities and present ecological and socio-economic opportunities for various stakeholders, (i.e. village members, catch-and-release (C&R) angling associations, C&R anglers, forest managers, and conservationists). To protect rivers and their fish species in the Indian Himalayan region, critical stressors and novel conservation strategies were investigated. Terrestrial Protected Areas (tPAs) are applied management tools for biodiversity conservation in the region, and along with existing managed reaches, (i.e. temple pools and angling pools) could protect river ecosystems from pressures such as over fishing, habitat degradation and fragmentation, and pollution. Although under scrutiny for its probable effects on aquatic ecosystems, C&R angling as a leisure activity could protect target fish species through associated socio-economic opportunities, and could act as a monitoring tool for fish species. A global online survey conducted among C&R anglers visiting Indian rivers revealed their willingness to assist with conservation projects targeting prime angling fish species. In view of the current benefits associated with global flagship species and examined support among local stakeholders in the study area, an attempt was made to promote a freshwater fish as a flagship conservation species for wider benefits to river ecosystems. With the present available support among local stakeholders and novel applicable conservation opportunities for river ecosystems, an innovative strategy, i.e. setting up of Freshwater Fish Safe Zones (FFSZs) was proposed to the State and Central Government of India to bring about long-term ecological and socio-economic benefits to Indian rivers and local stakeholders.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorJamie Lorimer (Supervisor), Michael Chadwick (Supervisor) & Nicholas Drake (Supervisor)

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