The Government has taken a number of measures to protect marine biodiversity in the country. These measures inter-alia include:
(i) The Ministry of Environment & Forests implements a Plan Scheme for conservation and management of mangroves and coral reefs in the country
(ii) The Ministry of Environment & Forests has initiated an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project with the assistance of World Bank, under which funds have been earmarked for marine national park conservation in Gujarat and coral regeneration, and development of marine aquarium and a research centre in West Bengal.
(iii) A “Task Force for Conservation of Marine Biodiversity” has been constituted to formulate steps for protection and conservation of marine biodiversity, including identification of gap areas in coastal and marine biodiversity, assess the existing capacity of institutions involved in coastal and marine biodiversity research, and to develop capacity on survey and monitoring of marine biodiversity; and recommend strategies and action plans for marine biodiversity conservation.
(iv) The Ministry of Environment & Forests is implementing two externally aided projects in the East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem, Andhra Pradesh and Malvan Coast, Sindhudurg District, Maharashtra during 2011 to 2016, with the aim of sectoral mainstreaming including knowledge management for coastal and marine biodiversity conservation, institutional capacity development, and sustainable community livelihoods and natural resource use in project land/seascape.
(v) Funds are provided to the State Governments for Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries in the country for conservation and management of wildlife habitat including fishes under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’. A sum of Rs. 136.86 lacs has been released during the last financial and current financial years for eight Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries.
(vi) Financial assistance is also provided for recovery programme to an endangered marine species Dugong under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat’. The funds released during the current financial year for recovery of Dugong species is Rs. 18.61 lakhs.