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13 Jun, 2021

18 Min Read

Operation Olivia

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Wildlife & Fauna

Operation Olivia

  • Every year, the Indian Coast Guard’s “Operation Olivia”, initiated in the early 1980s, helps protect Olive Ridley turtles as they congregate along the Odisha coast for breeding and nesting from November to December.
  • The Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is listed as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red list.
  • All five species of sea turtles found in India are included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and in Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora which prohibits trade in turtle products by signatory countries.
  • The Orissa Marine Fisheries Act empowers the Coast Guard as one of its enforcement agencies.
  • The Olive Ridley has one of the most extraordinary nesting habits in the natural world, including mass nesting called arribadas. The 480-km-long Odisha coast has three arribada beaches at Gahirmatha, the mouth of the Devi river, and in Rushikulya, where about 1 lakh nests are found annually.
  • Sea turtles generally return to their natal beach, or where they were born, to lay eggs as adults. Mating occurs in the offshore waters of the breeding grounds and females then come ashore to nest, usually several times during a season.
  • “Studies have found three main factors that damage Olive Ridley turtles and their eggs — heavy predation of eggs by dogs and wild animals, indiscriminate fishing with trawlers and gill nets, and beach soil erosion.
  • Dense fishing activity along the coasts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bengal, especially ocean-going trawlers, mechanised fishing boats and gill-netters pose a severe threat to turtles.
  • Coordination of efforts is done at various levels, the officer explained, including enforcing the use of turtle excluder devices (TED) by trawlers in the waters adjoining nesting areas; prohibiting the use of gill nets on turtle approaches to the shore; and curtailing turtle poaching.

Source: TH

Project O2 for India


Project O2 for India

  • The second wave of COVID-19 saw an increase in demand for medical oxygen in different parts of the country.
  • While meeting the current demand, manufacturing medical oxygen also became important to ensure we have an adequate supply in the future. ‘Project O2 for India’ of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, is to enable stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet this rise in demand for medical oxygen.
  • Under Project O2 for India, a National Consortium of Oxygen is enabling the national level supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors, final products, i.e., oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators.
  • The consortium is not only looking forward to providing immediate to short-term relief but also working to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem for long-term preparedness.
  • A committee of experts has been evaluating critical equipment such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators, from a pool of India-based manufacturers, start-ups, and MSMEs (in partnership with FICCI,MESA, etc.).
  • The manufacturing and supply consortium also includes Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL); Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE); C-CAMP, Bengaluru; IIT Kanpur (IIT-K); IIT Delhi (IIT-D);IIT Bombay (IIT-B), IIT Hyderabad (IIT-H); IISER, Bhopal; Venture Center, Pune; and more than 40 MSMEs.
  • The consortium has started to secure CSR/philanthropic grants from organizations like USAID, Edwards Life sciences Foundation, Climate Works Foundation, etc. Hope Foundation, American Indian Foundation, Walmart, Hitachi, BNP Paribas, and eInfoChips are procuring oxygen concentrators and VPSA/PSA plants as part of their CSR efforts to aid the consortium’s work. NMDC Ltd has agreed to fund the procurement of raw materials like zeolite for the manufacturers in the consortium.

Source: PIB

Why do some corals withstand climate change better than others?

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Climate Change

Why do some corals withstand climate change better than others?

  • In 2014 and 2015, the brown rice coral in Hawaii was completely bleached, but the blue rice coral recovered quickly after bleaching, and blue coral was unaffected by the elevated ocean temperatures.
  • Researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, U.S., have now decoded the reason for this resilience. Hawaiian blue rice corals have a deep blue pigment derived from algae called zooxanthellae that live inside the coral tissue.
  • The researchers found that these algae produce sunscreen for the coral. This pigment has a protein named chromoprotein which filters out harmful UV radiation The findings of this study were published this week in Scientific Reports.
  • After the 2014 and 2015 Hawaii bleaching events, the blue rice coral was found to have exceptional reproductive vigour at 90% motility. But the brown coral's motility was only half this. A key factor in the blue rice coral's ability to reproduce successfully might be its sunscreen pigment, which the coral may retain even if it bleaches.
  • Lead author Mike Henley, explains in a release that by studying blue rice corals' reproductive successes, we can better understand how other corals weather climate change and ocean warming.

Source: TH

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