It is no secret that our oceans have been losing their pristine nature because of what our own hands have brought forth. But, the question is to what extent has the damage been done? Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, oceanographer, is of the opinion that the situation has now reached an alarming level.
Photo from Lexpress.mu (Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, evaluating the state of our lagoons)
From the observations and deductions of Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, the Mauritian waters have been severely degraded, with the overexploitation of our fish stock, depleting us of our resources which have not been protected, nor have they been managed in a sustainable manner. According to the oceanographer, we had not planned for the long-term. This short-sightedness is now costing us a lot. He argued that the coral reefs, essential for life to thrive in our seas, are being crushed down by the hotels which have created swimming zones and recreational activity spots. As the lagoon was filled to make artificial beaches, sediments resulting thereof have covered the corals. That is just one of the problems.
Exacerbating the matter further, pathways at sea have been made for ships, while polluted waters have been dumped at sea. This situation has lasted long enough. The oceanographer puts forward that these activities should be denounced and action should be taken in this respect. Those who are destroying the corals should be severely reprimanded and sanctioned by more strict laws. Our lagoons have to be protected, now more than ever, all of which should be done in the immediate future.
Budding from his mind is the concept of having an institution which manages the preservation of the Mauritian coral reefs, regulated by law. He argues that the corals lining our lagoons are of immense wealth to the tourist sector; the corals contributing to the beauty of the island while simultaneously being the shelter for what is the source of food of many families and fishermen.
His sensitisation campaigns have as yet not steered procedures in the right direction. That is why he wishes to enlist the active participation of the authorities. According to him, the authorities should put in more efforts to preserve the marine health of our lagoons. He says that the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development has freely given out EIA licenses to projects which were detrimental to the marine environment. He has many other complaints to the authorities, like the projects of the Ministry of fisheries which have contributed to more damage to the marine ecosystems. In his view, a more strict and sustainable approach should be taken.