Staff Reporter

Tuticorin: Concerted efforts by different stakeholders were needed to prevent depletion of marine wealth in the Gulf of Mannar, said K. Venkataraman, Member Secretary, National Biodiversity Authority. He inaugurated a three-day workshop organised by the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust (GoMBRT) and Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, here on Thursday.

The programme was aimed at training officials from various departments involved in the conservation of marine resources in the Gulf of Mannar to identify the ‘scheduled marine animals’ covered under the purview of Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, amended in 2001. Dr. Venkataraman said that though the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park came into existence 21 years ago, conservation of marine resources left a lot to be desired. Commercialisation of biodiversity must be “regulated.” Steps must be taken on a war footing before many species become extinct.

Vocational training

V. K. Melkani, Chief Conservator of Forests, said that the GoMBRT was giving vocational training to children in coastal areas to reduce their dependency on fishery resources for livelihood. The trust had extended revolving funds to the tune of Rs. 2.5 crore to 222 Village Marine Conservation and Eco Developement Committees functioning in Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts in the last two years to promote entrepreneurial activities.

V. K. Venkataramani, Dean, Fisheries College and Research Institute, explained the importance of identification of fish species through morphological and physical traits.