EXPERIMENTS are underway off the Nellore coastline in Andhra Pradesh to create artificial coral reefs which can act as natural breeding grounds for aquatic life. They are being conducted by Jagriti, a Nellore-based voluntary organisation working for the upliftment of fisherfolk.The 175 km Nellore coastline has been almost taken over by the shrimp farming industry, adversely affecting the prospects of nearly 1,000 families of fisherpeople who, apart from facing drinking water shortages, have been driven from the coast to the hinterlands. The 5 humanmade reefs have been sunk into the sea bed 20 metres from the beach near the villages of Mypadu and Kolimettapalem. Each reef consists of 5 prefabricated modules -- triangular flat slabs with holes in them. These are stuffed with coconut leaves and foliage before being sunk into the sea. Within 2 days, zooplankton grow in abundance in these modules and they become the beehives of aqua foliage.
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