Fisheries university to take up mangrove conservation

April 08, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 08:18 am IST - KOCHI:

Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos) has launched a process for accelerating mangrove conservation works in the State. The fisheries station of the university on Puthuvype Island is at the centre of the university’s efforts.

A statement by Kufos said the society and ecosystem-oriented research projects of the university would focus on analysing the ecosystem of mangroves, assessing their mangroves, evaluating efficiency of mangroves as bio-absorbent, and creating awareness on the benefits of mangroves.

Rs. 11 lakh grant

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, had sanctioned Rs.11 lakh for the programme, the press release added.

The project is mainly aimed at expansion of the area of mangrove forests through scientific interventions and improved awareness among the public. “Studies on the bio-absorption of heavy metals and other toxicants by the mangroves may establish the advantages of this plant community more convincingly,” said K. Dinesh, head of the fisheries station, Puthuvype, and the principal investigator.

One of the major reasons behind the extensive destruction of mangroves in India is reported to be the lack of awareness among the local population. They are ignorant about the biological, ecological and economic significance and benefits of these plants.

A Mangrove Research Centre is already functioning at the fisheries station which produces thousands of mangrove plants a year at its nursery for distributing to the local bodies and Department of Forests for coastal afforestation.

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