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Provisions for Conservation of Marine Species

Why is it in the news?

  • The Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change provided an update to Lok Sabha, outlining comprehensive measures undertaken to safeguard marine species and promote marine conservation initiatives.

 More about the news

  • India has established 130 Marine Protected Areas.
  • Additionally, 106 Important Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Areas (ICMBAs) have been identified. These areas are strategically chosen to safeguard the diverse marine ecosystems.
  • Several threatened marine species have been listed as Scheduled animals under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. This legal protection ensures conservation efforts and penalties for violations.
  • Threatened species such as marine turtles, humpback whales, and dugongs are prioritized under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat (IDWH) The scheme focuses on the assessment and monitoring of these prioritized species, contributing to their conservation.
  • A Dugong Conservation Reserve has been established in Palk Bay, emphasizing the commitment to preserving dugongs and the associated marine species. The reserve likely includes measures to protect seagrass habitats, critical for the survival of dugongs.
  • The National Marine Turtle Action Plan aims to conserve marine turtles and their habitats across India. This plan likely incorporates strategies for nesting site protection, hatchery management, and mitigation of threats to ensure the well-being of marine turtles.
  • Launched in 2021, Project Dolphin is a comprehensive government initiative focused on the conservation of both oceanic and riverine dolphin species. The project reflects a holistic approach, considering the diverse habitats and characteristics of different dolphin species.
  • Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2019: Enacted under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, the CRZ Notification, 2019 provides a legal framework for managing and conserving ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) along the coast. Specific attention is given to conserving Mangroves, Seagrasses, Sand Dunes, Corals, Coral Reefs, and Turtle Nesting Grounds among other crucial ecosystems.
  • The Biological Diversity Act 2002, along with associated rules, serves as a comprehensive legal framework for the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of marine species and biodiversity in general.
  • Financial Assistance: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) grants funds to maritime states under centrally sponsored schemes. Funds, such as those from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), are specifically allocated for dugong conservation.
  • Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE): Operating under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), CMLRE is tasked with developing management strategies for marine living resources. Activities include ecosystem monitoring and modelling, contributing to the scientific understanding and sustainable management of marine resources.

The Marine Megafauna Stranding Management Guidelines, 2021, serves as a comprehensive set of guidelines for managing stranding and entanglement events. The guidelines aim to improve coordination among various stakeholders involved in responding to and mitigating the impact of such events on marine megafauna

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