A Storm Foretold

A red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle

As energy corridors, SEZs and tourism plunder our coasts, fishermen fight for their lives. Rohini Mohan sounds the warning on an impending crisis by the sea, in Tehelka. She says,

The stubborn conviction that development must happen at all costs has begun spiralling into an environmental disaster. Thirty percent of our shoreline is already heavily eroded; massive structures are forcing water to shift elsewhere, to eat into 1,112 acres every year, swallowing villages, thinning beaches, and crashing into houses and hotels. Of Karnataka’s 300-km coastline, 250 km faces erosion. Thirty-six percent of Odisha’s beaches are under threat. As mangrove forests are cut and creeks blocked to reclaim the shore, global marine experts show that the stock of 320 commercially important fish in Indian waters has dropped below sustainable levels. India is still the world’s third largest exporter of fish, but it’s a medal it might not have for long.

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