TAMIL NADU

Conservation efforts in marine park to be stepped up

TUTICORIN, MARCH 24. A meeting of the District Wildlife Coordination Committee, chaired by the Tuticorin Collector, V. Chandrasekaran, discussed enforcement and regulatory mechanism pertaining to conservation of Gulf of Mannar (GOM) Marine National Park, at the Collectorate here on Wednesday.

Officials from the departments of Forest, Revenue, Health, Coast Guard, Animal Husbandry and Customs took part. Later speaking to The Hindu , V. Naganathan, Wildlife Warden, GoM Marine National Park, said the DWCC had instructed the Fisheries Department to keep tabs on fishing by using banned nets inside the park and prevent trawlers entering within three nautical miles of the park area, besides monitoring fish landing centres to trace harvest of `banned animals.'

He said it was decided at the meeting to intensify enforcement of laws against those indulging in marine animal-related crimes through joint patrols involving various government agencies. Mr. Naganathan said hunting, possession and sale of marine animals mentioned under Schedule I, II, III, and IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, amended 2002, were punishable. The district administration would invoke the Goondas Act against the offenders, he said.

Rehabilitation

Mr. Naganathan said the DWCC had decided to send a detailed report to the State Government on rehabilitation of coral miners, especially from Tharuvaikulam fishing hamlet. "Our aim is to provide an alternative livelihood package to coral miners to wean them away from mining activities."

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