KANNUR: A detailed study is required to find out the cause of frequent incidents of dead dolphins and whales washing ashore along the Kerala coast, and it should be initiated as a multi-institutional project involving organizations having expertise in their respective field, said a report submitted by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) who had conducted a study on the occurrences.
The report also suggested various measures including steps to prevent the solid waste and sewage disposal. The ship breaking yards functioning in the area should adopt the code of ship breaking notified by the ministry of shipping, the report said.
The report submitted by Deepesh V, a scientist with the CPCB said the state pollution control board (PCB) should probe the incidences of indiscriminate solid waste disposal along the beaches and coastal area, and appropriate actions should Also, there were unconfirmed reports about biomedical waste being dumped in the sea at Kannur, and the CPCB team asked the authorities concerned to investigate this and take necessary actions. "The state PCB has to maintain routine vigil on incidences like beaching of dead marine mammals and mass fish kill, and a task force should be set up to monitor this at regular intervals and reports must be filed with state government," the report suggested.
Since there were complaints that the waste from the ship breaking unit of the Steel Industries Kerala Ltd (SILK) at Azhikkal could also be one reason for the death of dolphins, the team had inspected the site and found that there were several spillages of oil and materials like paint scraps on the land and also the code of ship breaking notified by the ministry of shipping was not being followed. The experts also visited other locations including Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Alappuzha, where dolphin death cases were reported.
According to M K Satheesh Kumar, professor at department of atomic and molecular physics, Manipal University, who had assisted the team in the study, there could be various reasons including the rise in sea surface temperature, toxicity in the sea waters, noise pollution from increased sea traffic, and rampant marine pollution due to indiscriminate dumping of plastic and waste water that cause the death of dolphins. "It is a matter of serious environmental consequences and hence the issue should be studied deeply," he suggested.
The CPCB initiated the study on the basis of the report, 'Rising cases of dolphin and turtle deaths spark concern', published in TOI on March 30, 2016, and also the representation made by Rajya Sabha MP Richard Hay to the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) seeking a detailed study into it.
Source: times of india. 28 March 2017