[India] The solution to the growing marine pollution in the east coast lies in seaweed culture, according to faculty members of the Department of Marine Living Resources of Andhra University. There is immense scope to take up seaweed culture in Visakhapatnam with a coastline of 139 km. Visakhapatnam stands second after Chennai in the country in aquaculture production.
The total area under aquaculture in the country is 2 lakh hectares. The total aquaculture output is put at 4.5 lakh tonnes per annum. There is further scope to promote aquaculture in Andhra Pradesh with a vast coastline of 960 km. The Department of Marine Living Resources has already undertaken extensive research on mariculture, a specialised branch of aquaculture involving the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open ocean, in the wake of gradual decline in availability of land following population pressure.
Speaking to The Hans India, Prof P Yedukondala Rao of Department of Marine Living Resources said “Tamil Nadu has already achieved good results by focusing on seaweed culture. Visakhapatnam is best suited to take up seaweed culture in a big way. The rocky seashore, Mutyalammapalem, Rishikonda, Lawson’s Bay, Mangamaripet and other places are suitable for seaweed culture, which helps the growth of pharmaceutical sector in the region. Biofuels can also be produced in the process. The decline in seawater pollution helps boost the marine product exports.’’
Another faculty member D Venu said “Research on mariculture and seaweed culture offers good career prospects for youth. Greater emphasis needs to be laid on emerging disciplines to become pioneers in the fields. The state government which already took the initiative for the development of fisheries in coastal Andhra, should also be in the forefront in tapping the immense growth potential of seaweed culture.’’
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