India to launch ocean pollution observation system

Jan 22, 2018 15:47 IST
India to launch ocean pollution observation system

India is all set to have its own automated ocean pollution observation system this year that is expected to help monitor ocean pollution levels besides offering insights on the changes in the marine system.

According to SSC Shenoi, Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), the new ocean data acquisition system called automated moorings will be the first of its kind in India. He said that the system would be very effective in getting the data about ocean pollution, which will then be used to understand the quality of water.

Significance

The new ocean data acquisition system will do away with the present practice of collecting water samples from the sea and studying their pollution levels thereafter.

Key Highlights

• The observation system will become functional from April 2018, once it gets a final nod from the government.

• The estimated cost of the project is about Rs 100 crore.  The system is reported to be completely foolproof.

• It will help in monitoring the pollution level of the ocean water and the impact of climate change.

• It will also provide data that will help scientists to understand how the marine system is changing.

Workings of the system

To study the pollution levels of the ocean water, sensor-equipped buoys will be placed in six coastal areas of the country including Digha (West Bengal), Goa, Mumbai, Kochi, Vishakapatanam and Chennai.

The sensors, which will be placed at the bottom of the buoys, will be attached to the sea bed so that they are not washed away.

The research team hopes to deploy two buoys by December 2018, following which other buoys will be placed.

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Background

According to the scientists, there are reports that the water is becoming anoxic and it could change the marine system.

Anoxic waters are areas of sea water that are depleted of dissolved oxygen.

It is estimated that more than 80 per cent of the pollution in the ocean is from lands with marine debris, especially plastics, killing thousands of seabirds, mammals and sea turtles every year.

About Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services

It was established as an autonomous body in 1999 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

It is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO).

Its main objective is to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focused research.

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