Healthy Rivers, Fish and Fishers

As part of India Rivers Week celebrations in 2021, India Rivers Forum is organizing a series of dialogues (digitally) with a focus on the theme: “Healthy Rivers, Fish and Fishers”.


This includes four dialogues focusing on different aspects of River Capture Fisheries and the final dialogue focusing on Governance & Way Forward. Dates and details are mentioned in the poster below.


Millions of fishers and their families once had a stake in free-flowing and unpolluted rivers across India. However, the health of river ecosystems have been steadily declining through regulation and fragmentation by hydropower projects, dams, barrages and embankments; diversion of water for domestic, irrigation and industrial uses; massive pollution from liquid and solid waste and effluents; and sand and boulder mining. As a result, the productive river based capture fisheries have declined across the country.

Free-flowing river ecosystems have to be restored to perform their vital ecosystem services from head-waters to estuaries and deltas so that capture fisheries with its important contribution to livelihoods, culture and protein security can be revived and sustained. 


What challenges does this pose and how do we find a bridge across these troubled waters to a future with ecologically sustainable river fisheries in free-flowing rivers? The five part dialogue series at India Rivers Week 2021 with the theme – “Healthy Rivers, Fish and Fishers”– will attempt to respond to this core question.


Our topical dialogues will include two parts:


  1. A presentation on the session topic.
  2. A panel discussion with representatives from government, law-judiciary, civil society, media, academy-science and user groups.

Our final session will include four parts:


  1. A summary of the insights produced from the four topical sessions.
  2. A keynote lecture.
  3. A  discussion on the state of fisheries governance in India as well as the way forward.
  4. Award Ceremony for Bhagriath Prayas Samman Award and Anupam Mishra Memorial Medal.


We hope that by the end of this exercise, we will be able to bring out a report on the state of river capture fisheries in India, along with recommendations for the future.

Session 1 - Polluted Rivers (8th Nov 2021)
Session 2 - Captive Rivers (13th Nov 2021)
Session 3 - Science, Data & Advocacy (13th Nov 2021)
Session 4 - Changing Political Economy (17th Nov 2021)
Final Session - Governance and Way Forward (27th Nov 2021)

Bhagirath Prayaas Samman &

Anupam Mishra Memorial Medal

Apart from the dialogues, India Rivers Forum also attempts to recognise unsung heroes – individuals and organisations who have done exemplary work towards the conservation and celebration of rivers.

Applications for India Rivers Week 2021 are now closed. This section will be updated after winners for this year are announced.