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India helps the Caribbean to exploit its marine wealth

India helps the Caribbean to exploit its marine wealth

作者:繁渝  时间:2019-02-26 01:03:01  人气:

By OMAR SATTAUR By JUNE 1990, Caribbean countries should be in a position to plan a programme to exploit their marine resources without harming the environment. One of India’s oceanographic research ships is to leave Goa, on the west coast of India, to reach the Caribbean by April this year as part of a Commonwealth initiative to explore the marine resources of the Caribbean. The Caribbean Oceanographic Resources Exploration (CORE) project began last April by training 25 Caribbean scientists in oceanography and marine sciences at the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa. Ulric Trotz, director of Guyana’s Institute of Applied Science and Technology, said: ‘We are looking at mineral and other marine resources such as natural products that may be derived from marine plants. We have many resources that we do not yet know about. The point about this project is that, at the end of the exercise, we hope to have a database that will inform the manner in which we deal with the utilisation, and in some cases, the preservation of these resources.’ The oceanographic survey of the Caribbean aims to collect data on physical, chemical, biological and geological oceanography. The scientists should gain a good working knowledge of areas such as meteorology, turbidity, tides, wave dynamics, fouling of ships’ hulls by marine organisms, pollution, marine chemistry, toxicity, food chains, and marine geochemistry. So far, the Caribbean states have done little, except in fisheries and offshore oil, to assess and plan how to exploit their oceans. The CORE project will cost between $1.6 and $2 million, of which India is paying about one-third. The Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation is providing about 40 per cent and the Commonwealth Science Council 1 per cent of the costs. The remainder will come from the participating Caribbean countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Christopher-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago. ‘The Indian government has made a very generous input into this programme and we hope that it will serve as a pattern for other such programmes involving the less developed Commonwealth countries,’ said Trotz. The Caribbean Community Secretariat, the Commonwealth Science Council, the Department of Ocean Development and the National Institute of Oceanography in India have been careful to include an environmental element in the survey. ‘Many Caribbean islands depend heavily on tourism for their income. It is very important to find out the status of the marine environment,’ Trotz said. Guyanese fisheries are already suspected by environmental groups of overfishing, but the country is so short of trained personnel it cannot monitor the problem. Trotz added: