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MoEFCC releases ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ & ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’

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Environment Minister releases Marine Mega Fauna Stranding GuidelinesOn January 29, 2021, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) virtually released ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ &  ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’ in New Delhi. The documents will help in long-time conservation of Marine mammals & their habitats

i.Objective:

  • To address stranding and entanglement of Marine Mega Fauna Species & Marine Turtles.
  • It will act as a framework for the conservation of Marine Mega Fauna Species & Marine Turtles.

Points to be Noted:

  • India has rich marine biodiversity along a vast coastline of over 7,500 km.
  • Marine Mega Fauna refers to the Largest animals which live in the oceans.
  • Generally, Marine Stranding means washing ashore (or beaching) of a live or dead marine mammal.
  • Entanglement – Marine animals like whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, & sea turtles get stuck in fishing gear and other marine debris, this is referred as Entanglement.

Why do animals Strand or Entangle?

Marine animals strand for numerous reasons, and the predominant known causes vary by species. Some of the common general causes include: Injuries caused by ship/vessel collisions, Entrapment or entanglement in fishing gear, Viral and bacterial infections, Parasitism, Disease resulting from exposure to harmful algal blooms, Other diseases, including cancer, Starvation, Unusual weather or oceanographic events.

ii.The 2 guidelines list ways and methods to improve conservation of marine mammals & turtles.

  • It is expected to  boost coordination between the Government, Civil Society and other stakeholders  for conservation of marine turtles & animals.
  • Improve the response of stakeholders towards stranding, entanglement, injury of marine mammals and conservation of marine turtles.
  • Actions to be performed while handling stranded animals on shore, sea or boat.
  • Mitigating the threats facing marine species & their habitats
  • Rebuilding of degraded habitats of marine mammals
  • Increasing People’s Participation in conservation
  • To Boost scientific research & exchange of information on marine mammals, marine turtles & their habitats.

About Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC):
Union Minister – Prakash Javadekar
Minister of State – Babul Supriyo