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Studying the health of Arabian Sea (hindu,)

The impacts of annual ban on trawl fishery will be assessed

The marine ecosystems of eastern Arabian Sea would soon become the stage for a series of biogeochemical and biological studies, which are expected to throw light into the ocean dynamics and economy.

The Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), Kochi, and the Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management – Project Directorate, Chennai, both functioning under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, have drawn up a three-year-programme to study the coastal seas of western India. The researchers have primarily identified health of sea, carbon credit, biological productivity, trawl ban effects and oceanography as the thrust areas for the research.

Under the category health of sea, the researchers would assess ecosystem status of western coastal India for biological resources which are influenced either by natural processes or man-made effects.

The green house gas emissions from the ecosystems would be assessed for redefining marine carbon credit, as part of India’s commitment to the 2016 Paris Climate Change Summit, said M. Sudhakar, Director, CMLRE.

The impacts of annual ban on trawl fishery and its impact on fishery resources will be looked into. The influence of coastal upwelling and associated biogeochemistry and biological oceanography on coastal fishery including their mortality, will be studied as part of the project, said G.V.M. Gupta, the Principal Investigator of the project.

Preliminary studies carried out at the south-western coast of India, according to a project note prepared by CMLRE, have indicated that monsoon trawl ban had a positive impact on benthic production. Similar studies are essential for entire west coast to assess the overall impact of monsoon trawl ban on fishery resources, it said.

The “evolution to decay of upwelling, its dynamics and associated bio-geo-chemistry all along the eastern Arabian Sea,” the inter-relationship between winter convective mixing (oxygen minimum zone) and coastal upwelling, “factors behind the formation/intensification of seasonal hypoxia (deoxygenation) and greenhouse gases production along the eastern Arabian Sea shelf” will be monitored under the project.
The National Institute of Oceanography, Kochi, and Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, and a host of fisheries and scientific research institutions are expected to join the project.

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