Dr. Naveen Namboothri (Dakshin Foundation)
Dr. Elrika D’souza (Nature Conservation Foundation)
Dr. Kartik Shanker (Centre for Ecological Sciences)
Dr. Rohan Arthur (Nature Conservation Foundation)
Dr. S Venu (Pondicherry University)
Marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, salt marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds are known for their high biological productivity, ecosystem services, and their ability to provide habitat for a wide range of aquatic plants and animals. In addition, healthy oceans play a vital role in regulating global climate and act as a major carbon sink and source of atmospheric oxygen. In the past century, human activities such as destructive fishing, shipping, coastal development, and discharge of untreated effluents have caused considerable damage and pose a severe threat to coastal and marine biodiversity. Coupled with global warming-induced climate change, these threats can severely impact marine ecosystems and consequently the coastal communities that directly depend on these systems for protection, income, and nutrition.
Monitoring will be carried out in the Andaman Islands, to understand the impact of local and global stressors on marine ecosystems and taxa. This will including monitoring key biological, ecological, physical, and chemical aspects of the coastal ecosystems across a gradient of disturbance. The project will include monitoring of coral reefs and reef fish, seagrass habitats, and Physico-chemical parameters at select sites. In addition, the project will also include monitoring marine turtles.