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Tamil Nadu: Destroying oceans and livelihood by S Deepak Karthik/M Manikandan August 11,2017   |  Source: The New Indian Express

They were the sweepers of the British Navy, which helped remove mines planted on the sea floor targeting its submarines during World War II. Then, sometime in the 1970s, the government introduced the fishermen to bottom trawlers that could maximise their income. The effect was felt in just a few decades, a frighteningly short time for ecological disasters to pan out. “That is the most destructive among all methods of fishing, which would wipe out marine ecosystem in the long run. It is already forcing our fishermen to cross the boundary and enter Lankan waters,” pointed out B Sundaramoorthy, professor and HOD, Fisheries Technologies, Tamil Nadu Fisheries University. Trawlers are indiscriminately devastating, not only catching the fishlings but also destroying the whole ecosystem and preventing breeding. Most damaging of these is the disappearance of coral reefs.

On this side of the sea, these reefs are the perfect habitat for fishlings to flourish. But a study by Madurai Kamaraj University revealed that the coral reef cover across the Palk Bay and the Palk Strait has gone down to 19.2% from 26.7%. Similarly, the reef cover across the 21 islands in the Gulf of Mannar has reduced to 36% from 48.5%. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had a role to play. But that was a one-time

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2014)