Humans have scavenged other beings for generations and due to the being’s non-participation in an active way in this process, the other beings we call animals have been killed more than us in the process. If we have to understand it, often force needs to be applied to people who do not understand by those who do understand. It is where governments have etched out laws that can work and function in the best ways for us and them. Not that we are rigorously following all the rules but due to the rules in place, we know we can reach out to someone if we do not see them happening in the right way.
India is a country with one of the biggest coastlines where a chunk of the population earns from their marine businesses. Most are fishermen or small fishing industry units across the entire coastal line of the country.
The mainland extension of the coastline in India is 6100 kilometers and when the islands are included it stretches up to 7517 kilometers.
Did you know India is the second largest exporter of seafood and we stand second only to China?
With this kind of massive area being covered under the coastal belt, it is very obvious that marine life constantly comes in contact with human life.
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Certain government laws exist in our country which is meant to safeguard marine lives.
These following government laws can help you understand the marine conservation laws available in our country.
- The Wildlife Protection Act of India: Protecting marine animals is possible through this act and it entails almost 31 main marine protected areas. This law covers the protection measures of many animals.
- The coastal regulation zone was established in 1991 and under this law; the government prevents development activities in fragile coastal ecosystems. Alongwith it, the law also prohibits disposal of water in these areas under this law.
- A national committee exists for maintenance of mangroves, wetlands, and coral reefs. It was formed in 1993 and is responsible for advising the government on different programs and policies.
- The government is advised on matters related to conservation, protection, biodiversity, sustainable use, and sharing of marine products by the Biological Diversity Act of India, 2002, and the Biological Diversity Rules 2004.
- The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) plans to establish sustainable and responsible fishery sector development in India. Their primary objectives include harnessing the potential of fisheries in an appropriate manner and robust fisheries management and framework regulation.
- The Ministry of Earth Sciences and Center for Marine Living Resources and Ecology is following marine living resource management through the monitoring of ecosystems and also via the development of different modeling activities. Based on 24 years of surveys, they have developed India’s exclusive economic zone and also marked several conservation hotspots in the country.
|Marine Conservation Laws & Regulations in India||Year|
|The Wildlife Protection Act of India||1972|
|Coastal regulation zone||1991|
|Biological Diversity Act of India||2002|
|Biological Diversity Rules||2004|
|Pradhan Mantri Matsya Samapada Yojana||2020|
|Ministry of Earth Sciences and Center for Marine Living Resources and Ecology||Surveillance work|
Marine Protected Areas
Next, we would know the major marine protected areas available across different states in our country. It shows the efforts that have been made to protect the marine environment as a whole. Marine conservation is essential and these protected areas stand to testify more of the efforts made.
|West Bengal||Sunderbans including its western side, Holiday Island, Sajnakhali, Lothian Island|
|Odisha||Gahirmatha, Chilika (Nalabana), Balukhand Konark, Bhitarkanika|
|Andhra Pradesh||Krishna, Coringa, Pulicat Lake|
|Tamil Nadu||Point Calimere, Gulf of Mannar|
|Kerala||Kadalundi-Vallikkunnu (Community Reserve)|
|Maharashtra||Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Gujarat||Khijadia, Gulf of Kachchh|
But just protecting a few areas is not enough. The Indian Ocean faces marine pollution threats and real-time pollution every day. With each passing day, it is on the rise. In the next segment, we bring you the reasons for marine pollution other than plastics that also need strict maintenance with the setting of different laws and regulations.
Different apparent causes of marine pollution preventing marine conservation efforts
The marine conservation despite these laws in place takes a dip almost every day. Different reasons abound which disturb such an arrangement. Some of the most plausible causes include the following;
- Sewage and its disposal in oceans
- Plastic dumps in oceans lead to the deposition of microplastics in fish flesh
- Oil spills are plentiful
- Ocean mining is being done for gold, silver, copper, cobalt, and zinc is underway even in India. Sulfide is the major trash of these processes and deposition happens up to half a thousand meters under the oceans.
- Foreign ships entering the Indian Ocean are another major reason for increased pollution
- Effective incorporation of blue economy programs in the country needs to be resolved.
To solve these issues, what can be done is directed below and is suggestive of changes that can better facilitate the work of the organizations.
- The working between the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture (Department of Fisheries), and the Ministry of Defence (the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy) must be made collaborative to ensure better marine life safety and preservation of marine laws in a better way.
- Establishing blue economy zones particularly to solve the marine pollution issue and not to make it a part of any of these Blue Economy programs is required.
- The plastics banned are only upto a certain thickness but there needs to be tighter implementation of laws and rules.
- Ocean mining waste of sulfide needs to be disposed of in the right way and it must not be getting into the flesh of the fishes. If it happens, the flesh will carry the poison impacting no one but us in the process.
If you think you want to know more about the Indian laws and regulations, here is a consolidated list of marine conservation laws in India as well as the challenges that are created from time to time around this aspect of life and living. You can go through the list of laws and refer to each one separately from their sites to have a firm grip on the issues.
An end to end plan and a robust attempt to end this kind of pollution might take ages but something needs to reduce by the next 10 years and not increase. Someone has to stand by these marine beings and know if we are being left at the top of the food chain, we must act and behave like one protecting and preserving lives under us and not letting them get wasted in our makeup industries and textile industries but instead only using and channeling them to the most essential industries like food and drugs.