Author(s): Rao DV, Rao KS, Iyer CS, Chittibabu P
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Abstract The Sethu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP), considered as a harbinger of economic growth in India, is a mega engineering project being developed to provide a 260 km long, 300 m wide and 12 m deep shipping channel between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. This project impacts the unique biota and biodiversity of a 10,500 km(2) Marine Biosphere Reserve. This man-made link facilitates exchange of water masses between the less saline Bay of Bengal and the more saline Arabian Sea. Initial construction, subsequent dredging for channel maintenance, and the associated ship traffic would result in irreversible changes to the already over-exploited and stressed environment. Additionally, the channel would form a deep ocean route for future tsunamis. However, to provide assurance to the public, particularly the 50,000 fishing folk, in 47 villages in this area, it would be crucial that a long-term environmental monitoring program is instituted. A thorough evaluation of the impending environmental impacts, similar to those addressed by a Before/After and Control/Impact (BACI model) is recommended.
This article was published in Mar Pollut Bull
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development