CMFRI Launches Project to Assess Status of Sea Turtles in India

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The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here on Thursday launched a research project to assess the status of 27 species of marine mammals and five species of sea turtles in Indian waters.

The study aims to address the crucial information gap on status of stocks of marine mammals as well as of sea turtles. Rs 5.66 crore has also been sanctioned for the three-year study by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

This research assumes significance in the context of emerging seafood trade-related challenges faced by the country.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA had issued import provisions of Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), stating that seafood-exporting countries should not allow intentional killing of marine mammals in commercial fisheries.

For exporting fish and fish products, the US has given a five-year exemption period starting January 1, 2017 to nations for developing regulatory programmes by assessing marine mammal stocks.

J.K. Jena, Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), while launching the project through a webinar, said that this research project would bolster the preparedness of the country in meeting the challenge faced by the seafood export industry, and enhance the indigenous capacity to address the emerging conservation concerns of marine mammals and sea turtles.

A. Gopalakrishnan, director of CMFRI, said marine mammals and sea turtles play key roles in maintaining marine ecosystems.

“While government and non-governmental organisations have undertaken studies on distribution, biological and ecological characteristics, the information on status of stocks of marine mammals as well as of sea turtles is not available”, said the director.

K.S. Srinivas, chairman, MPEDA said the country is looking forward to this project with a hope that it would help solve the issues related to seafood exports in the country and is being implemented with the technical support of NOAA.

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Arushi Sana is the Co-Founder of Santerra Living, a bio-pellet factory that makes a renewable form of eco-coal and Co-Founder of NYK Daily, a global news platform. She was awarded the Times Power Women of the Year 2022, Times Digital Entrepreneur of the Year 2023, Silicon India's Top 10 Women Owned Startups of Hyderabad 2023 and IHW Council Climate Health Influencer 2024. Arushi is also a speaker for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship at various forms like the World Bank, UN International Solar Alliance and Universities, and was also invited to the UN COP28 UAE Climate Conference. She is a Sustainability Consultant for organisations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and also works with brands on social media to help them carve a presence in that niche. She holds a Degree in Computer Science Engineering from VIT University and a Diploma in Marketing Analytics from IIM Nagpur. She has previously worked in Ernst & Young and Deloitte as a Forensic Data Analyst. Arushi is a writer, political researcher, a social worker, a farmer and a singer with an interest in languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her, and she aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform.

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