Corals' sorrow

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

the coral reefs of Lakshadweep -- a major biotic component of the island cluster's ecosystem -- are being threatened due to aggressive human activities. In a report in Voices for the Oceans published by the International Ocean Institute (India), C L Rodrigues of the Goa University, said that the corals were being damaged by blasting and dredging activities in lagoons.

Field surveys conducted from 1993-95 recently revealed that the damage occurred also due to reef-walking and anglers catching octopuses, gastropods and tuna as live baits. The reef comprise 36 coral atolls, reefs and submerged banks. Environmentalists are concerned about declining coral covers in lagoons of inhabited islands and eroded shorelines. Rodrigues said the lure of foreign exchange led the beche-de-mer industry to over-exploit tuna (Kastuwonus pelamis), the major living resource of the ecosystem.

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