Shankar Aswani, Ph.D.

Title
Professor
Institution
Rhodes University Department of Anthropology
Address
Rhodes University
Department of Anthropology
City, Zip
Grahamstown, South Africa, 6140
Country
South Africa
E-mail
s.aswani[at]ru.ac.za
Award Year
2005

Research

Shankar Aswani is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rhodes University in South Africa. Aswani used his Pew fellowship to establish additional marine protected areas (MPAs) and the institutional and legal infrastructure to sustain them, to conduct baseline marine and social science research, and to develop an innovative MPA research and implementation protocol that integrates marine and social science research. The new “no-take” MPAs protect the prime habitats of flagship species. They include sites in which vulnerable or endangered bumphead parrotfish, Maori wrasse, coconut crabs, green and hawksbill turtles, and dugongs are found. They also protect spawning aggregations of various groupers. In addition to protecting endangered and vulnerable species, the expansion of the network of reserves will provide protection for habitats and for heavily exploited marine organisms that are restricted to many lagoon areas in the region. As a result, Aswani has created, expanded, and consolidated a network of community-based MPAs in the western Solomon Islands. He also built upon 16 years of research, conservation, development, and educational activities in the Solomon Islands to help create a regional network of MPAs for marine conservation and fisheries management—a network that is still growing today. The “no-take” MPAs protect critical habitats and species, in particular, the prime habitats of flagship species, including vulnerable or endangered bumphead parrotfish, Maori wrasse, coconut crabs, green and hawksbill turtles, and dugongs. His work also protected the spawning aggregations of various groupers, which are targeted in Indo-Pacific Live Reef Food Fish Trade operations. To learn more about Aswani, visit his bio online. https://www.ru.ac.za/anthropology/people/profshankaraswani/