Friday, Jan 21, 2005
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By Our Staff Reporter
TUTICORIN, JAN.20. V. Sampath, Director, Department of Ocean Development, Government of India, has urged marine scientists to refrain from making `spontaneous remarks' on the status of coral reef in the tsunami-affected areas along the Indian coast, without properly studying the subject.
Speaking to press persons here today, he said scientists across the world are in the process of collecting as much data as possible to get a fair idea about the amount of damage caused to the reefs, including that of the Gulf of Mannar.
"Only long term studies could reveal whether sediments and debris are deposited on coral reefs at the time of tsunami, if so, it could prove to be detrimental in the long run, and hence it is unfair to make predictions based on assumptions that coral was either safe or unsafe"" he said.
Ships on mission
Dr. Sampath said two ships `Sagar Kanya,' and `Sagar Sampada,' belonging to the DOD, are now on a mission to study the impact of tsunami on living resources along the seas engulfing the country.
`Sagar Kanya,' which started its voyage from Kochi soon after the tsunami, is heading for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, after collecting samples of sediment and water from Kochi, Kollam, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam, where tsunami caused heavy damage.
"Our aim is to study the geo-physical nature of the sea in those areas," he said.
Meanwhile, `Sagar Sampada,' a fishery and oceanography research vessel, had started collecting samples of live resources in the sea surrounding the Indian peninsula.
Reiterating the necessity of preserving coral cover and mangroves along the coast to protect the mainland from the onslaught of natural disasters, Dr. Sampath said measures were to be taken on a war footing to curb intensive trawling, travel of tourist boats over reefs, and mining, to protect the existing coral reef cover in our inshore waters.
Earlier, he inaugurated a national seminar on `Rejuvenation and Reclamation of Coral Reefs in Gulf of Mannar,' at Kamaraj College here on Thursday.
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