May 2017

Flora, fauna hit by oil spill recovering slowly

While there are still some sediments left of the oil spill in Ennore, flora and fauna are recovering slowly and the coast of Chennai is returning to normalcy, according to the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM).

The NCSCM, which is monitoring how the oil spill has impacted flora and fauna along the coast, last week conducted its review of the regions affected by the nearly 200-tonne oil spill off the Kamarajar Port in Ennore following the collision of two cargo ships in late January.

The NSCSM carried out its environmental and ecological impact study from January 30 to March 2. The study was done along the coast and offshore with actual on-field data, and modelling and remote sensing data.

The institute submitted its report to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) recently.

Various zones

A copy of the report, which is available with The Hindu, classified the impact of the oil spill into various impact zones.

The report says the region between Ennore and Marina beach is a ‘High Impact Zone’ (Zone 2), while the region from the south of Marina beach to Kovalam is classified as a ‘Moderate to Low Impact Zone’ (Zone 3). The region between Pulicat and Ennore is classified ‘Low Impact’ (Zone 1) and the ‘least impact zone’ was found to be Kovalam to Mahabalipuram (Zone 4).

Across all these zones, Olive Ridey turtles were found to be affected, though the report added a rider that turtle mortality could not be directly correlated to the effects of oil spill.

“Most of the dead turtles were washed ashore from by-catch/entanglement in fishing nets during peak nesting season [January 2017] along the Chennai coast,” the report said.

CRZ Norms: Fearing loss of homes and livelihood, Mumbai fishermen meet minister, seek demarcation of koliwadas

With the government planning to relax the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) norms for constructions along the sea, members of the fishing community opposed to the move met Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil Tuesday to voice their concerns.
Representatives of the community reiterated their demand that the city’s 38 koliwadas be mapped and demarcated as CRZ III at the earliest, to pave the way for their makeover into new-age fishing colonies.
Following Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s announcement on April 24 about the Centre agreeing to relaxing conditions for the redevelopment of coastal slums in Mumbai, the fishing community has decided to intensify their fight over the issue of demarcating koliwadas.
The community, which has been struggling to save their traditional livelihood for decades, now fears losing their homes and livelihood to private builders and developers.
Located on some prime land of the city, the koliwadas are protected under the CRZ III, according to the community. “Relaxing CRZ norms would mean no more protection to koliwadas and land will automatically be thrown open to private developers. We are in favour of development but not at the cost of our livelihood. If the city develops, we should rightfully get our share,” said Rajhans Tapke, general secretary of the Koli Mahasangh and resident of Versova koliwada.
The fishermen pointed to real estate development in Juhu’s Moragaon koliwada dominated by the Mangela community. In the past decade, the locals have seen an engineering college, a hotel, a big residential colony and many villas come up around them.

A Rare, Pristine Estuary Comes Under Threat in Karnataka

The construction of a multi-purpose estuarine port in the Aghanashini – one Karnataka’s last free-flowing rivers – will result in damage to the ecosystem and the loss of traditional livelihoods.

Tadadi, Karnataka: When the tides are low at the mouth of the Aghanashini river, women from the village walk out onto the mudflats to collect oysters and mussels. Salt pans and mangroves outline the estuary, and in the distance is the busy fishing port at Tadadi.