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Indian blue economy is thriving but the country needs to be careful about marine litter

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation

 

Source: DTE

  

Context: India has been leading the blue economy discourse at the highest level with its geographic and geostrategic position, putting greater focus on the Indian Ocean region but abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear is a serious threat worldwide.

  

About Blue Economy:

Blue economy refers to a wide range of economic activities pertaining to the sustainable development of resources and possessions in the oceans, connecting rivers, water bodies and coastal regions with a focus on equity, inclusion, innovation and modern technology.

 Advantages of coastal India hold for the blue economy:

  • Global producer of Fish
  • Presence of Poly Metallic Nodules – PMNs
  • Sea Trade – Currently 95% of India’s trade volume transits by sea and the total capacity of all the Indian Ports was 2562.85 MTPA in 2021.
  • Boosting Domestic and Regional Trade

 

Indian Initiatives:

  • Promoting the spirit of ‘SAGAR-Security and Growth for All in the Region’ in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Sagarmala Project
  • Coastal Economic Zones
  • Resource exploration: India in recent times has shifted its focus toward Indian Ocean resource exploration. E.g. India has explored 75000 sq km of Indian Ocean Seabed and is developing technologies (like remotely operated vehicles) for mining the resources.
  • Matsya Sampada Yojana
  • International relations and security

Sustainable measures are needed to realize the blue economy potential:

  • Minimizing the impact of fishing on the environment involves using sustainable fishing methods, reducing bycatch, and protecting habitats from destruction.
  • Capacity development of coastal communities
  • Anticipating and adapting to the impacts of climate change
  • The effective implementation of the UNCLOS