India also has other important and endangered megafauna like dugongs and whale sharks whose population status is unknown, say the guidelines.(Reuters)
India also has other important and endangered megafauna like dugongs and whale sharks whose population status is unknown, say the guidelines.(Reuters)

10k aquatic mammals fall victim to fishing vessels each year: Government

The guidelines aims to reduce bycatch by spreading awareness among fishing communities.
By Jayashree Nandi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 01, 2021 07:40 AM IST

Around 9,000 to 10,000 aquatic mammals like whales and dolphins get snagged by mechanised fishing vessels every year across India, according to the Union environment ministry.

So-called marine megafauna also get stranded on shore either alive or dead for reasons such as fisheries bycatch (marine species snagged in mechanised boats unintentionally during fishing), boat strikes, noise pollution, disease and disorientation, according to a ministry document on stranding guidelines released on Thursday.

India also has other important and endangered megafauna like dugongs and whale sharks whose population status is unknown, say the guidelines.

Implementing stranding guidelines will involve establishment of a national stranding centre which will gather information on stranding of marine animals and their bycatch, funding of rescue activities and so on. It will also involve establishment of state stranding centres, local stranding centres and rapid response teams. Once a forest official or coast guard receives information about a stranding, they should coordinate with the local stranding networks to respond to the event with the help of a rapid response team if a mammal is still alive. The coordinator must take the responsibility of crowd management at the stranding site.

Also read: Green tax may drive up CNG vehicle sales

The guidelines also aim to reduce bycatch of marine animals in fishing gear by spreading awareness among fishing communities and to identify the bycatch and stranding hotspots of each state and UT to depute volunteers .

The ministry has also released the National Marine Turtle Action Plan 2021-26 which identifies all important sea turtle nesting habitats. India has a coastline of more than 7,500 km. Around 40,000 to 11,00,000 turtles nest on India’s beaches ever year. The goal of the action plan is to conserve turtle species and their habitats; improve understanding of the species and their habitats; and enhance sustainable tourism and so on. Both the marine megafauna stranding guidelines and the marine turtle action plan gain significance because the ministry of earth sciences (MoES) released a draft Blue Economy policy in January.

The Blue Economy policy plans to boost island tourism, marine biotechnology, deep sea mining and the ocean energy sector through innovative financing and business models. The last date for public comment on the draft is February 27.

“The Centre’s economic planning is blind to ecological concerns and ecological plans don’t spell out the impacts of industrial and infrastructure expansion. Action plans draw their direction from the problems or vulnerabilities that they are designed to address,” said Kanchi Kohli, legal researcher, Centre for Policy Research.

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She said the four most common and interlinked assumptions found are: women are innately caring and connected to the environment; women are a homogenous and vulnerable group; gender equality is a women's issue and; gender equality is a numbers game.(Unsplash)
She said the four most common and interlinked assumptions found are: women are innately caring and connected to the environment; women are a homogenous and vulnerable group; gender equality is a women's issue and; gender equality is a numbers game.(Unsplash)

Gender assumptions have harmful impact on climate adaption and resilience

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:46 PM IST
The findings of a recent study suggests that outdated assumptions regarding gender continue to hinder effective and fair policymaking, along with the action for climate mitigation and adaptation.
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T1C2, female cub of Avni, now a sub-adult tigress, aged two-and-a-half years, has been kept in captivity in a 4.5-hectare (ha) area in Pench Tiger Reserve since December 22, 2018.(Maharashtra Forest Department.)
T1C2, female cub of Avni, now a sub-adult tigress, aged two-and-a-half years, has been kept in captivity in a 4.5-hectare (ha) area in Pench Tiger Reserve since December 22, 2018.(Maharashtra Forest Department.)

Pilibhit tiger reserve’s approach reducing deadly conflict: Officials

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 02:45 PM IST
  • Erection of a 40-km-long electric fence around the part of the reserve known most for man-animal encounters has also helped in containing the incidents.
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On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency said global CO2 emissions dropped by 5.8% in 2020.(Unsplash)
On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency said global CO2 emissions dropped by 5.8% in 2020.(Unsplash)

Scientists warn of rebound after record 7% fall in global emissions

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:15 AM IST
Coronavirus restrictions led to a record 7% fall in global carbon emissions last year, but the drop will be short-lived unless efforts to phase out fossil fuel are intensified.
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The study was published today in the science journal Biology Letters.(Pixabay)
The study was published today in the science journal Biology Letters.(Pixabay)

Animals fake death for long periods to escape predators: Study

ANI, Bristol [england]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 01:02 PM IST
A recent study by researchers from the University of Bristol has found that many animals fake death to try to escape their predators. With some individuals in prey species remaining motionless, if in danger, for extended lengths of time.
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Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)

Climate crisis transformed Indian summer; the worst, say experts, is yet to come

By Jayashree Nandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:19 PM IST
The outlook for 2021 is worrying. According to IMD’s Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System , the forecast suggests above-normal seasonal maximum and minimum temperatures are likely over most of India
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Scientists have previously calculated that CO2 emissions fell by 7% during the full year 2020 as people stayed at home because of the pandemic.(File photo for representation)
Scientists have previously calculated that CO2 emissions fell by 7% during the full year 2020 as people stayed at home because of the pandemic.(File photo for representation)

Global energy-related emissions rise in December despite pandemic shutdowns

AP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 03:08 PM IST
Figures released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency show emissions from the production and use of oil, gas and coal were 2% higher in December 2020 than a year earlier.
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The environmentalist has submitted pictures and videos with location coordinates as evidence of illegal dumping. (Sourced Photo )
The environmentalist has submitted pictures and videos with location coordinates as evidence of illegal dumping. (Sourced Photo )

Mumbai: Raw sewage dumping in Bhandup salt lakes, environmentalist seeks action

By Prayag Arora-Desai | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 11:31 AM IST
  • The road, HT learned, has been constructed by a contractor to facilitate the installation of new sewer lines, for which wastewater from existing sewers is being pumped out in the salt lakes.
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“The steep rise in extreme weather events in recent decades is mainly because of climate change,” said M Rajeevan, secretary, ministry of earth sciences and co-author.(ANI file photo. Representative image)
“The steep rise in extreme weather events in recent decades is mainly because of climate change,” said M Rajeevan, secretary, ministry of earth sciences and co-author.(ANI file photo. Representative image)

Study: Sharp rise in extreme weather events in last 50 yrs

By Jayashree Nandi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:14 AM IST
The paper, published in ScienceDirect journal on February 26, compared extreme weather events across two 20-year periods—1980-1999 and 2000-2019. The comparison highlighted an increase of 138% in heatwaves, 193% in lightning strikes, 25% in cold waves, 28% in floods, and a decrease of 19% in tropical cyclones.
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“The agenda for the discussion of around 14 projects have been pending for over a year. That will be the priority in this meeting,” said a senior forest department official.(Sakib Ali/HT file photo. Representative image)
“The agenda for the discussion of around 14 projects have been pending for over a year. That will be the priority in this meeting,” said a senior forest department official.(Sakib Ali/HT file photo. Representative image)

Ridge body to discuss Metro and RRTS projects on March 5

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 03:59 AM IST
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai approved the appointment of independent members to the board, Sohail Madan, the Delhi centre manager of the Bombay Natural History Society and Vivek Menon, chief executive officer of Wildlife Trust of India, last week.
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The new law bans the sale, supply and distribution of a range of single-use items in South Australia, Environment Minister David Speirs said.(Unsplash)
The new law bans the sale, supply and distribution of a range of single-use items in South Australia, Environment Minister David Speirs said.(Unsplash)

Australian state bans plastic drinking straws and stirrers

AP, Adelaide, Australia
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 06:28 PM IST
An Australian state on Monday became the first in the country to ban some single-used plastic items including drinking straws, stir sticks and cutlery.
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CSE said the courts are stretched and they managed to dispose of only 86 cases (environment and pollution-related) on an average every day in 2019.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
CSE said the courts are stretched and they managed to dispose of only 86 cases (environment and pollution-related) on an average every day in 2019.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In 2019, 50,000 environment-related cases remained pending in courts

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 06:46 AM IST
The analysis is part of Centre for Science and Environment's (CSE’s) annual review titled “State of India’s Environment 2021” released last week. Interestingly, the highest backlog was found in the cases related to The Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, followed by The Indian Forest Act, Forest Conservation Act and the Noise Pollution Rules.
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In our intensely polluted, heart-and-lung-disease causing air, large swathes of Indians qualify as potential victims.(Arvind Yadav/HT file photo)
In our intensely polluted, heart-and-lung-disease causing air, large swathes of Indians qualify as potential victims.(Arvind Yadav/HT file photo)

Don’t ignore climate change in North India

By Bharati Chaturvedi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 05:19 AM IST
In both North India and Texas, climate change is causing sudden temperature changes that people cannot cope with.
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A Kashmiri boy walks homeward after attending private classes, after a brief spell of fresh snowfall in the outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday.(AP)
A Kashmiri boy walks homeward after attending private classes, after a brief spell of fresh snowfall in the outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday.(AP)

Rain, thunderstorm likely over J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal in next 24 hours

By Jayashree Nandi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:08 AM IST
  • No significant change in temperatures is likely over most parts of northwest, west and central India during the next 24 hours.
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Delhi’s maximum temperature didn’t touch 30 degree C in 2020, 2019, 2015, 2014 and 2013 in February.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Delhi’s maximum temperature didn’t touch 30 degree C in 2020, 2019, 2015, 2014 and 2013 in February.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

Weather experts weigh in on why spring gave Delhi a miss

By Jayashree Nandi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 04:53 AM IST
Since Monday (till Saturday), maximum temperatures in Delhi have read: 28.9; 31.5; 32.5; 33.2; 33; and 31.7 degrees C. The situation is similar in most cities in the northern plains. Mumbai’s maximum temperature over the same period has ranged between 33.9 and 36.1 degrees C.
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The researchers have found that a similar genetic evolution happened independently in different species at different times, suggesting there is a unifying principle leading to the same social trait.(Unsplash)
The researchers have found that a similar genetic evolution happened independently in different species at different times, suggesting there is a unifying principle leading to the same social trait.(Unsplash)

Study finds maternal instincts lead to social life of bees

ANI, Toronto [canada]
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:39 PM IST
The maternal care of offspring is one of the behavioural drivers that has led some bee species to have an ever-expanding social life over the history of evolution.
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