Eminent agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan on Saturday defended the introduction of a hazard line in the draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2010.

Speaking at the Foundation Day celebrations of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Dr. Swaminathan said there was a need to protect coastal ecological zones in the interests of the traditional fishing community. For this, the hazard line should be introduced.

Welcoming the concerns expressed by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on the draft CRZ notification, Dr. Swaminathan said he was glad that Mr. Karunanidhi had raised the issue and that it could be modified now.

Already, he had suggested to the Central government that a separate legislation on the lines of Traditional Forest Dwellers Act 2006 be enacted to safeguard the livelihood and security of traditional fishermen in the country.

Marine animals were sensitive to changes in ocean temperature. With more and more reports of oil spills and damage to the marine ecosystem, more bio-remedial measures needed to be taken. Change in climate resulted in lesser fish yield, change in species distribution and increased variability of catches.

Mangrove forests were one of the best bio-shields to protect people from calamities such as tsunami. They would act as speed-breakers and reduce the impact of tsunami, he said.

M.A. Atmanand, Director, NIOT, said the Wave Energy Plant at Vizhinjam in Kerala was the first successful project implemented by NIOT.