ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT), Kochi organised a National Campaign Programme on Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar (Clean Coast- Safe Sea) on 12th September, 2022 at Kochi in collaboration with the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. The programme was chaired by Dr Leela Edwin, Director (Acting), ICAR-CIFT in presence of Dr Sandeep Barua, Scientist F and Dr B K Tyagi, Consultant, Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, GOI, New Delhi.
In her presidential address Dr Leela Edwin expressed concern over the menace of marine pollution as detrimental to the treasure trove of marine ecosystems and vast fisheries resources in the sea and emphasized that keeping a clean sea and reducing marine pollution is critical for ensuring the life of aquatic organisms including fish and the livelihood of millions, mainly fishermen. She said that the sea pollutants directly affect the human food chain, hence local level awareness and public participation can contribute significantly to mitigate it. Dr Sandeep Barua, Scientist F, Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi in his felicitation address highlighted on technological options for mitigating marine pollution including plastics.
The inaugural programme was followed by a technical session that included three talks delivered by different experts. Dr S. Bijoy Nandan, Professor, Dept. of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, CUSAT in his technical deliberation accentuated the fact that microplastics are the potential threat to seafood safety and globally India is considered the 12th largest source of marine litter. Dr B K Tyagi, Consultant, Vigyan Prasar, DST, New Delhi emphasized the importance of mangroves plantation for mitigating coastal erosion and save the habitat for several fish species. Dr M.P. Remesan, Head (i/c) and Principal Scientist of ICAR-CIFT discussed about the major cause of fish loss at sea due to remnants of fishing gear that are left in the seas, known as “ghost fishing”. The technical session was presided by Dr. T.V. Sankar, Principal Scientist, CIFT.
This event coincides with the celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in the 75th year of the country’s independence. The coastal cleanup drive has been launched at 75 beaches across the country with three strategic underlying goals that target transformation and environmental conservation in the sea. The programme was concluded with a beach cleaning programme conducted by ICAR-CIFT in the Kuzhippilly beach, Kochi to generate awareness.