KOCHI, 7 March 2018: In a major attempt to draw an action plan to control marine debris – one the biggest threats to aquatic ecosystems –, the Marine Biological Association of India (MBAI) will organise a national conference during April 11 and 12 at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here.
Besides the discussions on latest research works in the areas of marine debris and coastal zone management, the conference will be open to the public to share their views to resolve the issue of marine debris.
The conference, titled CoMaD, will have three different sessions; the first one will focus on research updates in a scores of areas such as micro plastics in marine ecosystem, ghost fishing nets, impacts of resources due to wastes, impacts on livelihood, etc. whereas the second session will be on the way ahead to control marine debris in which stakeholders’ view will be considered. The third will be an exhibition to create public awareness.
“The conference is aimed at formulating an action plan to control the marine debris, which is believed to be worse than any other problem faced by aquatic ecosystems”, Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI and President of MBAI said.
Plastic debris a serious threat to ecosystem
“Recent studies have shown that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometre litter the deep sea”, Dr V Kripa, Convenor of the conference and the Principal Scientist of the CMFRI said.
“The amount of plastic waste entering the ocean from land each year exceeds 4.8 million metric tons (MMT)”, she said adding that the micro-plastics were posing a serious threat to the marine food webs. “In India, micro and macro plastics have been observed at all trophic levels starting from sardines to tunas and sea birds”, Dr Kripa added.
Public to share their views
She further said: “Since the public has a greater role to play in preventing this issue from making the water bodies dead zones, the MBAI is providing opportunity to public to actively engage in the discussions and present their views to tackle the issue”.
Various local government bodies, residential associations, NGOs and other developmental organisations will be given opportunities at the two-day conference to present their success stories on a slew of areas such as waste management, removal and processing of accumulated marine debris, infrastructure developed for coastal zone management, models developed for plastic waste recycling and processing, new packaging for reducing the use of plastics and strategies developed for implementations.
Awards will be given for the best success stories. Local government bodies, residential associations, NGOs, etc can send in their success stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
The online registration for participating the conference is open now. Participants and contributors are requested to submit the applications and abstracts online to the website (www.mbai.org.in) on or before March 31. Phone 9495317931.