The Hindu , 15 July 2006

Fight against poaching to save marine species

RAMANATHAPURAM: After a series of litigations that was successfully countered by the authorities of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park (GMMNP), preserving the coral eco-system of the Park seems to have gained momentum.

Though poaching of several endangered species is still on in certain parts of Rameswaram, Kilakarai and some other areas, the danger for corals has been reduced to a great extent basically due to the court direction. Now, with the financial support of Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust, the GMMNP authorities have strengthened the manpower to safeguard the Park area from poachers. All 21 Islands will have watchers round-the-clock to prevent fishermen and others trespassing the Park area.

According to S. Shenbagamoorthy, Wildlife Warden, out of 31 watchers, 14 will take care of areas coming under the Tuticorin range.

Similarly, Kilakarai and Mandapam ranges will have eight and nine watchers respectively. They will assist Park authorities in enforcing the law to preserve the endangered marine species, including corals.

He said awareness campaigns would be conducted by using photos taken by scuba divers from Goa.