Mangaluru: Nearly 200 students and faculty members from the College of Fisheries (Mangaluru) participated in an International Beach Clean Up campaign at Tannirbhavi beach on Saturday, September 21 morning.
The initiative was undertaken in accordance with the Swachtha Abhiyan campaign launched by Prime Minister Modi.
The College of Fisheries is an institute that researchs methods to develop fish in the country while promoting the conservation and protection of the aquatic environment including marine habitats.
As the coasts of the country and the coastal waters are being used as dumping areas for solid waste, the coastal environment is becoming highly polluted and is not fit for undertaking recreational or tourism activities anymore. Furthermore, the wastes dumped into the rivers are also brought into coastal stretches as most of the rivers flow into the sea. Due to this process, large quantities of plastic, industrial insulation waste, and medical waste are found littered along the coasts as well as the ocean. These plastic wastes (which constitute more than 60% of the solid waste) disintegrate into micro-plastics and find their way into the food chain as they are consumed by fish and afterwards, by human beings.
The College of Fisheries team was joined by the Indian Coast Guard and the Central Industrial Security Force at the cleanup site. The total congregation at the site was around 500 people. Localities and morning beach-walkers also joined the team. The team collected the discarded wastes from tourists/visitors such as plastic straws, spoons, food wrappers, cups, bottles, toys etc. They also found a large number of empty liquor bottles, slippers, and thermocol. The garbage comprised fishing-related debris like fishing nets, ropes, floats, buoys, etc.
All these wastes were segregated into degradable and non–degradable wastes in gunny bags & garbage bags and were handed over to the Mangaluru City Corporation. Furthermore, the students (carrying placards) held a rally in Tannirbhavi village to spread awareness about the harmful effects of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials dumped into the sea. They were also joined by local school children.
Pamphlets highlighting the adverse impacts of water pollution were distributed to local residents who were requested to avoid the usage of plastic.
Former College Dean Dr Shivaprakash, Present Dean Dr A Senthil Vel, Tannirbhavi Beach Yojaka Project Co-ordinator KP Paniker, Dr S R Somashekhar, Dr AT Ramachandra Naik, Dr Shivkumar Magada, and others were present at the clean-up.