A group of ecologists attached to the Nature Conservation Foundation and Zoological Survey of India had already told the stakeholders in the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Kerala government had also passed a resolution seeking the Centre to intervene and not to take up developmental activities. But there is no response ensuring protection for the pristine islands, adds Nambiar, who believes in landscape conservation.
Commercial fishing will wipe out the marine resource of the island that is some 500 nautical miles from Chennai, said a Marine biologist who had worked in Tamil Nadu Fisheries University. Members of the Central Marine Fisheries Institute are also upset as development work in Lakshadweep will bring ecological imbalance.“I have worked in Lakshadweep islands and the archipelago is so dependent on coral reefs.
Coral reefs are sensitive and the south Indian subcontinent is witnessing massive coral reef destruction, so there is a potential ecological threat if new building works are taken up. Further, sedentary sea animals like sea anemone, star fish, sea cucumber and sea horse population will face local extinction if there is a threat to their habitat,” the marine biologist who is also the lead author of reputed marine journals said.
For biologists across the globe, Lakshadweep is a virgin highland with zero pollution in water and in India, you can spot crystal clean sea water only in Lakshadweep, the marine scientist added.Independent YouTube channels have also started releasing videos that cry for the protection of Lakshadweep islands and is receiving good traction from Tamils.
YouTuber and social media campaigner Raj Mohan had also carried a digital content explaining the ecological significance of Lakshadweep which was once part of the Madras presidency during the colonial era. “The nine-minute video on “Lakshadweep is in danger” has invited more than 3.6 lakh views with public commenting to protect the archipelago and the public response towards conservation is encouraging,” said Raj Mohan.
Several young YouTubers are also producing digital content creating awareness on the environment. Our next video campaign is on how plastic entering our food chain. The video will reveal the impact of microplastics in the salt that we consume, which is primarily due to the draining of plastic waste into our ocean, Raj Mohan adds