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Sunday, March 11, 2007

New study to save marine resources

The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust (GOMBRT) will tie-up with research institutions to carry out studies for better conservation of resources in the Gulf of Mannar and its future management during 2007.

The Chief Conservator of Forests, V.K. Melkani, said here on Friday that the GOMBRT would come out with a comprehensive inventory on the potential of marine wealth through the research.

"Studies on inventory would be carried out with technical assistance from universities in the State, Fisheries Colleges and Research Institute and Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, both in Tuticorin, and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute," he said.

The proposed inventory would contain details pertaining to fishery potential, habitat of pearl oysters, area coverage of sea grass and population details of endangered aquatic creatures such as dugong dugon (sea cow).

It would also have statistics related to environmental issues such as quantity of effluents flowing in every day.

The groundwork on inventory preparation would commence in April.

Mr. Melkani said that the GOMBRT would disburse about Rs. four crore as revolving fund assistance to people staying in 222 coastal hamlets spread over Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts this year (2007).

"It is to enhance their livelihood activities and reduce dependency on marine resources in the Mannar biosphere," he said.

The fund was allocated to the trust by United Nations Development Programme-Global Environmental Facility.

Mr. Melkani said that the State Government would come out with a detailed management plan before May 31 to conserve and enhance the marine resources in the reserve.

The draft plan was being prepared by the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun. It would be ready before March 31.

The final document would include a new monitoring protocol to review the implementation of Wildlife Protection Act.

It would also highlight techniques to be followed to restore the damaged coral reef ecosystem, if any.

Source: The Hindu

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