Marine park plans coral rehabilitation programme

In Kariyachalli and Vaan islands in Gulf of Mannar

June 21, 2019 10:19 am | Updated 10:19 am IST - Ramanathapuram

The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park has proposed to cover one sq km of area in Kariyachalli and Vaan islands in Thoothukudi group in Gulf of Mannar for rehabilitation of coral reefs, Wildlife Warden, Gulf of Mannar (GoM) Marine National Park, T.P. Ashok Kumar has said.

The GoM Marine National Park had been implementing the corral rehabilitation programme since 2002 and had so far covered eight sq km areas in GoM region, where coral reefs suffered bleaching and degradation due to climate change and high temperature, he said.

The rehabilitation programme, employing ‘concrete frame slabs’ method, would be launched after getting government approval later this month, he said.

As the sea would be rough during the southwest monsoon season, they would commence the insertion of slabs after the end of the season.

After getting government approval, tenders would be floated to get and drop the concrete frames in the seabed.

This year, the programme would be undertaken at the cost of about ₹9 lakh. In all, they proposed to drop around 200 concrete frames, tied with live corals around the two islands, where coral reef degradation and bleaching were noticed. The department of environment had also complemented the rehabilitation programme in the past, launched to mitigate climate change and bleaching.

Corals would start growing in 60 days using the concrete frames as sub-state. The acropora coral species would grow by 10 to 12 cm per year, he added.

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