CMFRI, ISRO join hands to conserve wetlands

By Sradha Meloot

Aimed at conserving wetlands and preserving the diverse ecosystem, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has joined with the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for developing a real time monitoring system.

This is the first time in India that a fisheries institute is collaborating with a space agency for a comprehensive monitoring system for the conservation of wetlands and fisheries.

CMFRI, Kochi, and SAC inked a Memorandum of Understanding recently at the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad. As part of the MoU, the Space Applications centre will develop a mobile app and web portal. In the centralised portal that will be developed as part of the MoU, it will have complete database of as many as five lakh wetlands spread across the country.

The development of such a centralised portal is part of a bigger plan to lessen the gravity of climate change on wetlands and fisheries as envisaged by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture project.

The integration of data of all wetlands to a common digital repository is seen to help the public and the stakeholders for getting accurate time based information regarding wetlands. This exercise is said to give leverage to the geospatial database on wetlands that has been already developed by ISRO.

The Central Marine Fisheries Institute and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research along with fisheries departments would be generating the periodic field level datasets of wetlands such as sediment quality, water quality, species health and biodiversity. All these information will help a great deal to farmers for the maximum utilisation of wetlands for sustainable aquaculture. By this way, the scientists hope to restore the degraded wetland system in the country. Apart from this, this would also help in building a comprehensive data of all the wetlands in the country.

All the data will be stored in the server of the Space Applications Centre and authorised scientific communities will have access to it.

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