Tamil Nadu

Team takes stock of coral growth

Also assesses protected coral reefs on Koswari Island

A high-level nine-member team from New Delhi and Maharashtra visited Tuticorin and inspected coral rehabilitation and conservation of natural resources in sea.

The team, led by S.K. Khanduri, Inspector General of Forests (Wildlife), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF and CC), during its two-day study tour which concluded on Sunday, reached Vaan Island along the Gulf of Mannar and observed the growth of coral reef underwater.

The team also assessed the protected coral reefs on Koswari Island.

Speaking to The Hindu , Dr. Khanduri said the objective of their visit was to explore the factors leading to the growth of coral reefs in rehabilitation sites.

A similar exploration would be carried out by research scholars of Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI), Tuticorin, at Malvan, the west coast of Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, to rehabilitate the degraded coral areas.

The Rs. 18-crore Sindhudurg Project was funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Despite increasing industrial activities in this region, corals achieved luxuriant growth due to effective plant conservation measures, he said.

N. Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell, Maharashtra Forest Department, and Nodal Officer, Sindhudurg Project, said prior to 2005, coral mining was the economic activity of many here, but after the rejuvenation programme, new coral colonies were explored.

Though the coral growth was fertile in the Gulf of Mannar, fish density had been declining, probably due the seasonal migration of fishes.

On the Sindhudurg Project, Mr. Vasudevan said it would also create alternative tourism at Malvan coast in South Maharashtra. Shiv Pal Singh, Joint Director, MoEF and CC, C. Sasikumar, Manager, Sindhudurg Project, and J.K. Patterson Edward, Director, SDMRI, and others were present.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 7:16:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/team-takes-stock-of-coral-growth/article7128097.ece

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