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Marine Environment and Coastal Zone

Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System Programme(COMAPS)

The Ministry of Ocean Development (External website that opens in a new window) (MoOD) is continuously carrying out the research activities of monitoring the coastal water quality on long-term basis in order to understand the trend of pollution level. There are 25 parameters on physical, chemical biological and microbiological characteristics of water and sediment are being sampled at 81 transects/locations (the number fluctuates based on the pollution levels in the transects) at various frequencies with the participation of 10 reputed National Laboratories and Universities. The coastal state-wise scenario of pollution sources and its trend based on the data collected till 2004 has found that quality of coastal waters beyond 2 km is found to be clean except Mumbai, where it is beyond 5 km from the shore.

In addition to regular monitoring of coastal waters, the data base on GIS is being developed on marine pollution and analysis of pesticide residue in the edible marine organisms under COMAPS programme. The residue in Indian sea food was found very well with in the permissible limits.

Coastal Research Vessels

The Vessel Management Cell (External website that opens in a new window)(VMC) of National Institute of Ocean Technology (External website that opens in a new window) operates, maintains and manages the two coastal research vessels, namely, Sagar Purvi and Sagar Paschimi. These vessels are being used for pollution monitoring under Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (External website that opens in a new window) (COMAPS), data buoy programme and also for Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management programmes. Further, these vessels are being utilised by over 15 institutions along the west and east coast of India by effectively utilising the ship times for various programmes.

Integrated Coastal and Marine area management

During the Tenth Plan period, programmes such as "Shoreline Management", "Tidal Inlets Management", "Ecosystem Modelling", "Marine Ecotoxicology", "Application of Ocean Colour Monitoring in sediment transport studies", have been formulated and are being implemented. In addition, the Ministry has expanded its activities on the following areas for detailed investigations:

  • The coastline of the country has been facing severe erosion in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal and in Union Territories of Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep.
  • The ICMAM programme on "Shoreline Management" presently aims to fulfill understanding of the coastal processes at Ennore (Tamilnadu), Munambam to Kayamkulam (Kerala) and along Gahirmatha coast (Odisha) where shoreline changes are prominent in the last few years.
  • A number of new Ports, both minor and medium are being planned along the coastal areas. Since the port structures like jetties and breakwaters are likely to cause adverse impacts such as erosion. Hence, ICMAM-PD would conduct training programme especially on adoption of EIA guidelines and development of environment management plans to the coastal states and R&D institutions through capacity building programmes.

The ICMAM Project Directorate has planned to carry out modelling of propagation of tsunami waves and their inundation in the coastal areas as a part of the programme of Tsunami Early Warning system. This programme is likely to be continued during the Eleventh Plan. As a part of this programme, development of model Coastal Risk Atlas for each State/UT be incorporated containing details of location of hazard line, risk areas including infrastructure and establishments at risk. Concerned coastal state agencies will be trained to develop similar Atlas for other areas in the State/UT.

Development of potential drugs from the Ocean

The National Project on "Development of Potential Drugs from the Ocean" was taken up for implementation from 1990-91 with a view to harnessing the potential marine flora and fauna for extraction of drugs for medicinal purposes. The research activities include-Systematic collection and identification of marine organisms, extraction and evaluation of medicinal properties of products derived from marine organisms till completion of clinical trials and development of products from the pure molecules. The nodal Institute, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow has been entrusted the responsibility of coordination and implementation; reconfirmation of bioactivity encountered by the other participating Institutions, elucidation of chemical structure by way of spectrometry and high throughput screening, testing in laboratory animal models, etc., so as to utilise their international standard infrastructure facilities and their expertise.

The Ministry has re-orientated this programme with the focus on exploratory and product development activities and initiated action to induct more institutional participation including pharmaceutical industry. Collection of wide range of marine organisms even from deep sea and islands and screening for 16 different bio-activities viz.,

  1. Anti-cancer
  2. Immunomodulatory
  3. Anti-hyperglycemic;
  4. Wound healing
  5. Anti-fungal
  6. anti-protozoal
  7. Antibacterial
  8. Anti-inflammatory
  9. Anti-viral
  10. Anti-hyperglycemic
  11. Anti-hyperlipidemic
  12. Spasmolytic
  13. CNS
  14. Pesticidal and Anti-allergic

The routine experiments and defined protocols both for pre-clinical and clinical studies are being carried out continuously. The assays for the drug/metabolite(s) concentrations in bio-samples are developed and validated as per the international guidelines.

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Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 09-02-2011