TN to implement project to conserve dolphin at Rs 8 cr

TN to implement project to conserve dolphin at Rs 8 cr

Chennai, Nov 7 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu forest department will implement Project Dolphin to conserve the highly endangered marine mammal at an outlay of Rs 812.6 lakh during the 2023-24 fiscal, additional chief secretary to government Supriya Sahu, said on Tuesday.

It will be implemented under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat programme of the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry, Sahu said.

'More than four types of dolphin species are found in the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve. The Project will be implemented at a cost of Rs 812.6 lakhs during the year 2023-2024,' she said in a post on the social media platform X.

The Additional Chief Secretary of Environment Climate Change and Forests, further said that several activities including Dolphin number estimation, protection, surveillance, and awareness enhancement would be undertaken.

A Government order has been issued in this regard, she said posting photos and videos.

The state government issued an order on November 6, 2023, to implement the project. More than 9 species of Marine Dolphins are found in the coastal waters of Tamil Nadu. Major habitats of the dolphins are found in the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, an official release here said.

Last year, 7 Dolphins were successfully rescued and released into the sea at the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, an area of high productivity with rich marine biodiversity including marine mammals such as dugongs.

'Dolphins play an important role in keeping the marine environment in balance. Dolphins around the world face various natural and human-induced threats which include hunting, entanglement in fishing nets, overfishing, climate change, ship strikes, tourism activities, toxic contamination, noise pollution, oil and gas development and habitat degradation,' the release said.

The project will focus on various aspects including strengthening protection activities through better patrolling anti-poaching activities and strengthening surveillance and patrolling teams with modern equipment and technology.

Rescue and rehabilitation, Dolphin habitat improvement, removal of ghost nets, reduction of pollution in coastal areas, enhancing awareness, promoting eco-tourism, and creating livelihood opportunities as a substitute to conventional fishing practices are also planned. PTI JSP JSP ROH

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