THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ocean continues to be a deep mystery for us. Scientists say we know more about the moon than the ocean which occupies 70 percent of the surface of the earth.
Our own existence depends on how much we know about the oceans. We all know how climate change has affected our lives.
In the years to come, the effect will be more pronounced and even those species which are yet to feel its severity will be affected.
In this background the three-day conference of Ocean Society of India, which started in the city, assumes importance.
Attended by scientists from premier research organisations in the country on the ocean, the conference is being held at the campus of National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) at Akkulam. Secretary for Ministry of Earth Sciences, M Rajeevan inaugurated the function.
What is deliberated at the conference may sound Greek and Latin to a layman. But an exhibition arranged at the venue is of importance to students who want to pursue a career in solving the mysteries of the environment. Some of the stalls like that of the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture is beneficial for the fish farmers.
Scientist J Raymond Jani Angel explains how one can produce pearl spot (karimeen) frys in a plastic tank. Pearl spot farmers in the state always point out the difficulty in getting good seeds. “A pair of pearl spot can produce 1,500 seeds in a modular unit. A farmer can get Rs10,000 in 45 days just by selling them,” said Raymond. He showed a mud crab (scylla) usually found in brackish waters.
A farmer can cultivate it to become a big one weighing 1.2 kilograms. CIBA has developed technology to cultivate naran chemmeen (Peaeus Indicus), Pacific white shrimp, milk fish, sea bass etc. Not all indigenous varities can be cultivated for the ornamental fish industry. Pallathi (Etroplus maculatus), Mono Angel (Etroplus suratensis), Nachra (Scatophagus Argus) are some of the ornamental fishes cultivated by CIBA.
The research work at National Institute of Ocean technology gives a thrill to any youngster who wishes to be part of the deep sea challenges. The premier research institute is planning a manned mission at a depth of 6,000 kilometres where the pressure is 600 bars. We know the air pressure for the wheels of our car is just 2.6 bars. Scientist Harikrishnan, an electrical engineer, said these experiments were undertaken to identify and extract the natural resources found deep inside the sea. He talked about extracting methane gas hydrates from Krishna Godavari basin.
Providing portable water to public where there is acute water shortage is a challenge. People also talk about desalination. Harikrishnan explains where it works and where it does not. NIOT’s low thermal desalination plants at Lakshadweep has not only solved the drinking water problem but also helped in containing water related diseases there.
Scientists at National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management do an array of interesting projects with an aim to create a sustainable coastal eco system. They are the ones who decide the high tide line which is crucial to limit the construction activities along the coast.