KOCHI: Plastic pollution and unregulated fishing were posing a threat to marine wealth. Hence, scientists and oceanographers should be tasked with formulating the best solutions to manage marine resources.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan made the observation on Friday at the 19th Council of Ministers (CoM) of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) at Abu Dhabi.
Muraleedharan also stressed on the need for greater intra-IORA work on Blue Economy and science and technology to deal with environmental degradation of the oceans caused by plastic pollution and unregulated exploitation of marine resources.
“India attaches great importance to IORA. Indian trade and industry sectors can contribute and improve intra-IORA trade and tourism via trade facilitation and promotional activities. India will host a workshop on Beach and Cruise Tourism in Spring 2020,” he said.
India is looking forward for an IORA-specific understanding of the Indo-Pacific from the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue and the IORA group meeting, both of which will be held in December, said Muraleedharan.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently announced an Indo-Pacific initiative for the oceans. It calls for creating partnerships to deal with specific challenges to our maritime domain. We will be happy to share details so that we can collectively address the challenges to the Indian Ocean,” he said. In 2015, India had hosted the first Indian Ocean Dialogue in Kochi, bringing together officials to discuss six broad themes.