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[Ambassador report] [Thematic Report] TWO SIDES OF A COIN: The Good and the Bad of India’s Marine Life

by Ishitwa - | 21-11-2019 03:34 Comments 4 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

TWO SIDES OF A COIN: The Good and the Bad of India’s Marine Life



Being one of the world’s Mega Diverse nation, blessed with an unremitting coastline and surrounded by three water bodies, India is the hub of opportunities with regard to marine life. Marine life, which refers to life of the water bodies, encompassing all sorts of plants, animals, planktons, bacteria and other organisms takes a centric place when we discuss about the environmental status of Indian conditions. From salty waters to brackish waters, from beach shores to gulfs, you name it, India has it. Indian shores house a wealth of marine life, it is an entirely different world we are unaware of, a treasure to be cherished and kept preciously.


The Indian marine ecosystem has been under threat for long due to climate change, pollution and destructive fishing practices. It has faced extinction of various species and a massive threat is posed at the remaining marine life, such as the marine mammal, Dugong. While researching about the marine life of India, I came across all sorts of positives and negatives. Some of these news pieces took me by surprise. What follows is a summary of these news pieces about the marine life of India.




    Artificial coral reef through 3-D print


The trigger of climate change is really harming the marine life adversely. Coral reefs, which provide shelter to many marine organisms and reduce coastal erosion, have been under the threat of climate change. Due to pollution, increased fishing, and rising ocean temperatures, it has been observed that it causes bleaching and death of corals. 


A 17-year-old, Siddharth Pillai from Mumbai, with an aim to tackle this issue, has become the first Indian to create a modular artificial reef in Puducherry. The 20m 3D-printed reef will be dispersed along the Puducherry coast, and according to a few experts, the marine life will host on the reef within a month. [1] [2]




Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has made some astonishing strives in the past years for India in the field of space. Their work in the field has been impeccable and now they are looking at diving into the depths of the ocean. The agency is developing a design for a crew module that can take humans up to 6,000 meters under the sea by the year 2022. 


The aim of this exploration is to develop more insight on the marine life. The exploration of the deepest parts of the oceans still largely remains a mystery for the humankind. Till now, only a few countries have the technology for a manned deep-sea exploration such as China, Russia, the US, Japan and France and submersibles that go about 6000 meters deep into the oceans have never had humans on board. ISRO, however, has a plan developed to achieve the tasks. The design is yet to be approved; hence it is only a matter of time that we will know what is going to happen with ISRO’s initiative.






Needless to say, the bad overpowers the good in the case of marine life. In present scenario, marine life is suffering more than it is benefitting. Overfishing is an alarming hazard. Fishes constitute the majority of marine life, and thus, overfishing and human activities in the oceans imperil the marine species extensively. With 10% of the global marine biodiversity, India contributes 6% of the global fish production, which accounts for about 1% of the GDP and 5% of agricultural GDP. [4] India’s fishing exports are significantly contributing to foreign exchange earnings. The Fishery Survey of India was established in 1946 to augment fish production in the country. However, it has definitely not succeeded to protect and preserve the fish diversity. A shortcoming of this is that it jeopardizes the livelihood of fishermen, critical marine species and biodiversity.


    Plastic Pollution


It is believed that every square mile of the ocean holds about 46,000 pieces of plastic. Out of the plastic pollution, India contributes to 60% of the plastic waste dumped in the oceans every year. What is more condemnable is that animals and aquatic organisms are worst affected by waste plastic dumped in the water bodies. These plastics are mistaken as food by the poor marine animals and ingested. The animals end up eating parts of plastic or the entire plastic bag as a whole, along with the food, which eventually is extremely toxic for them. Their intestines are unable to digest the harmful ethylene, eventually, leading to illness and death. This on a larger scale leads to extinction of some extremely rare marine species.[5]



The unfathomable destruction of environment hasn’t left marine life untouched. There are goods and bads associated with everything in this world, but what is more upsetting is when the intensity of bad outweighs that of good. 




[1] https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/news/story/17-year-old-mumbai-boy-creates-india-s-first-3d-printed-artificial-reef-to-save-aquatic-species-1570437-2019-07-17


[2]  https://yourstory.com/socialstory/2019/07/17-year-old-created-indias-first-3d-printed-reef




[4] https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/main-article/marine-species-in-danger-729977.html


[5] https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2019/11/ban-plastic/


marine life


Lisa Mentor

  • Lisa Mentor says :
    Hey Ishwita,
    It's Lisa your mentor:)

    I think you've done a great job of introducing some of the latest issues involving the marine life in your country and I really liked how you divide it into two parts, goods and bads. It allows us to better understand the situations that your country is facing.
    It's really nice to hear that there are individuals and organizations that are working for the marine ecosystem and both sad that India still cannot escape some of the problems that the world together is facing.
    Both goods and bads that India have I believe can be goods and bads in terms of the entire world those good changemakers could and are contributing to global environment and the problems obviously are shared by all the countries. This is why we have to work together!

    Thanks for your report and nice job:)
    Posted 26-11-2019 16:05

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Ishitwa

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about TWO SIDES OF A COIN: The Good and the Bad of India??s Marine Life

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 26-11-2019 00:57

Hyeongmin Mentor

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Ishwita

    By reading your report, I could learn that India is interacting with the ocean in variety of ways, some are desirable and the others should be solved. Starting from the positive one, the idea about the artificial coral reefs with 3D printing looks very creative. I heard that many coral reefs underwater are harmed by the pollution and that will be able to provide shelters to many sea animals.
    The sad thing is about the serious water pollution in India. I could face it indirectly through many other reports, and it seems to be treated seriously. Some creative ideas in this aspect might come up as well.

    Thank you for the explanation about the situation in India.

    Keep up the great work.
    Posted 24-11-2019 12:57

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Hello Ishwita!!
    I really enjoyed reading yours report.

    Keep writing and shining.
    Hope yo know more from you.

    Warm regards,
    Posted 21-11-2019 12:05

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