Born at Sagar, Karnataka, by mid 90’s Prashanth completed his academic education by 2019 with a Master of Fisheries, at Mangaluru College of Fisheries [Thesis: Assessment of ichthyofaunal diversity in estuarine system of Kundapura region].
Along with it, and after, he participated in Seminars, Conferences, Internship programs [Next Generation Aquaculture, Research Methodology and Data Analysis, Aqua Clinics and Aquapreneurship Development, Aqua Aquaria India, among others]
His professional experience moves from consultancy [to NABARD, Ashoka Trust, Sneha Kunja Trust] to field assistance for the research projects, built on personal field data collection, fish sampling, river habitat and water chemistry measurement, providing reports for scientific research articles, interviewing crab farmers, buyers, exporters and institutional people.
But his own portrayal better shows his early motivation for environment…
“I was born and raised in Sagara, a Malnad town rich in forests, lakes, rivers, and other natural resources. My first elementary school was in a little village called Kolale in the Balehonnuru town of Chickmangaluru, which is well known for its dense forest and numerous coffee estates. My Aunty’s house was a mile away from the school. I used to walk alone because no one from my side was going to school. The colorful birds, insects, and creatures that were coming down the walkway grabbed my attention. I used to walk into the forest as a naughty kid to harvest some wild fruits that were delicious. In the evenings, I’m responsible for returning the little calf to the livestock shed. For me, that was a fascinating pastime because I was able to reach my calf in the herd by listening to the bamboo bell strapped to its neck. I was enjoying the sound of the bug Geerunde during the monsoon. And I used to capture them and keep them in a matchbox to use as a morning alarm. Catching the fish in the stream and keeping them in a glass jar was one of the most exciting tasks. Agricultural activities were something I used to enjoy. It was like a festival during harvest. When I returned to Sagara after a year, I was looking for the creatures I had seen in Kolale. This piqued my interest in some creatures such as leaches and birds that I hadn’t seen in Sagara. During school vacations, I used to go for a nature walk. I used to collect various colors of water lilies and attempt to grow them in an aquatic setting in my home. After reading about Ayurveda in a little public library named Kalikakendra, I began to think a lot about it. I used to experiment with herbs and plants by extracting their juice and mixing it with others to see how their color changed and coagulated. I also utilized them in my paintings. My grandfather was a well-known Ayurvedic Pandit at the time, but due to his early death, his expertise was not passed down to his sons. Now, wherever I travel, I’m attempting to get traditional wisdom from the locals. Following my PU education at Sagara’s Government Junior College. By choice, I enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in fisheries science. That provided me with a great deal of hands-on self-learning experience. I was an average academic student who never missed an opportunity to learn about the aquatic environment. After my master’s degree in Fisheries Resources Management in 2019, I worked as a research consultant at ATREE (Ashoka Trust For Research in Ecology and Environment). My task was to explore the Sharavati and Aghanashini river fish richness. That was a fantastic opportunity. After that, I worked as a fisheries consultant for NABARD bank for a while. Then, in 2021, I began working as a research assistant for the Azim Premji Foundation. My task there was to communicate with the dried fish processors in the coastal area and learn about their challenges. That was a fantastic opportunity for me to have a deeper understanding of the stakeholders, as well as economics, social structure, politics, and so on. As a research consultant for Snehakunja Trust, I am now working on an SSRC (Social Science Research Council) project. This is an opportunity for me to gain a deeper understanding of the fishing community.”