Ockhi cyclone dumps tonnes of plastic waste, chokes Arabian sea

NewsflarePublished: January 10, 2018
Published: January 10, 2018

The recent Ockhi cyclone dumped huge quantities of plastic waste along the coasts and the sea waters lining several Indian states.

Minister of Environment Mahesh Sharma told the Parliament: "The Ockhi cyclone had deposited 80 tonnes of plastic debris along the coast line and the sea.”

An under-water video shot by NGO Friends of Marine Life (FML) shows the sea waters at Kovalam in South India choking in plastic debris.

The footage shows thousands of pieces of plastic waste floating in the inshore area of Arabian sea or settled on the sea bed threatening marine eco system.

Robert Panipilla of FML said the cyclone had breached two estuaries at Veli and Panathura, which started flowing into the sea. “The inland water bodies were clogged with plastic. The estuaries took them to the sea after the Ockhi,” Panipilla added.

Panipilla also said Ockhi had dumped 50 metres of sand into the sea wiping out biomass, colonies of mussels and other creatures in the inshore area.

FML has planned a campaign to remove the plastic debris from the sea on January 11.

It would take at least a year for the bio mass and colonies of mussels and other creatures to begin their recovery process, pointed out Panipilla.

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