Anti-poaching watchers get trained in scuba diving

September 29, 2018 - Comment

RAMANATHAPURAM As part of capacity building programme for conservation of biodiversity in the Gulf of Mannar in the Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu Forest department has trained anti-poaching watchers (APW) in underwater monitoring and scuba diving. Five APWs attached to the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) Marine National Park underwent the five-day training from September 24. S.B.


RAMANATHAPURAM

As part of capacity building programme for conservation of biodiversity in the Gulf of Mannar in the Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu Forest department has trained anti-poaching watchers (APW) in underwater monitoring and scuba diving.

Five APWs attached to the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) Marine National Park underwent the five-day training from September 24. S.B. Aravind Tharun Sri of ‘Temple Adventure’, Puducherry, and member of Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), trained the APWs in underwater biodiversity monitoring with open water scuba diving.

The programme, conducted under Tamil Nadu Biodiversity and Greening Project, comprised theory and practical sessions and the APWs were given practical training in the sea at Mandapam Thonithurai. They were given open water scuba diver licence at the end of the training programme on Friday, in the presence of T.K. Ashok Kumar, Wildlife Warden, GoM Marine National Park.

With this batch, all the five Forest Range Officers, five Foresters and five APWs in the GoM Marine National Park had been trained in scuba diving and obtained open water scuba diver licence, S. Sathish, Mandapam Forest Range Officer, said. During the training period, the APWs removed plastic waste sediments in the Palk Bay.

For the first time, the marine national park would purchase five scuba diving kits at a total cost of ₹ 3.5 lakh for periodic underwater biodiversity monitoring. The Forest Range Officers, Foresters and the APWs would take turns in monitoring the biodiversity in the Gulf of Mannar. “After getting the scuba diving kits, we will regularly monitor sea grass and coral reef rehabilitation programmes,” he said.

Last month, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Tamil Nadu Forest department trained the Foresters in underwater monitoring and scuba diving as part of the capacity building programme for the conservation of dugong and other marine mammals in the Palk Bay.

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