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Chicalim bay polluted with heavy metals: NIO

14 April 2010

PANJIM: The National Institute of Oceanography in a study has concluded that the Chicalim bay that is home to windowpane oysters (scientifically known as placuna placenta and locally known as ‘mendios’) was contaminated with heavy metals like iron, cadmium, zinc, lead and copper.
The NIO has further concluded that the bay was a rich habitat of the windowpane oysters that have been long declared as endangered and designated as scheduled species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, technical advisor to the Chicalim Villagers Action Committee Cyril Fernandes said the findings of the NIO have underlined and upheld all the facts that the CVAC had been trying to bring to the notice of the government for the last two decades.
Fernandes said the study reiterated the stand of the CVAC that the bay was rich in marine biodiversity harbouring more than 200 faunal and 34 phytoplankton species in addition to mangroves and macrophytes.
Based on the findings of the NIO, he said, Coastal Zone Management Authority has kept in abeyance the no objection certificate given to Bharti Pinky Shipyard Pvt Ltd for its controversial project that was opposed tooth and nail by CVAC. “In view of this CVAC has withdrawn the petition filed earlier in the High Court of Bombay at Goa challenging the permission of the GCZMA to the project,” he stated.
Dr Manoj Borkar, Chairman-Technical Committee CVAC, said the study based on data collected from 13 sampling stations in the Chicalim bay shockingly reveals high levels of presence of iron in the soft tissue (meat) of windowpane oysters.
Dr Borkar asserts if such is the case then there is enough ground to state that tisreos (shell fish) found abundantly in the bay are also contaminated.
“The content of iron found was placed at 1800 micrograms per gram of tissue. The other heavy metals found were zinc (600 micrograms per gram), lead (400 micrograms per gram) and copper (200 micrograms per gram). Presence of cadmium was also found but was relatively low,” he observed.
The study calls upon the authorities concerned to protect the bay for posterity, he said.
He said the study of NIO cannot be taken lightly as the same was carried out by Dr Baban Ingole, who is a biologist involved in studying benthos (sea floor). Dr Ingole was the only Asian scientist who was invited to investigate the epicenter of the Indonesian tsunami, he stated.
He said the Goa State Pollution Control Board should step forward to take suo moto cognizance of the NIO study and carry out further action. The NIO study has cited overexploitation and metal pollution which could result in disappearance of this bivalve species, he stated.
The CVAC has handed the NIO study to Forest Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues who has called for a report from the Forest Department. CVAC members said they had asked for the report in the next one week.

Source: http://oheraldo.in/news/Main%20Page%20News/Chicalim-bay-polluted-with-heavy-metals-NIO/35844.html


Written by csirindia

April 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

Posted in NIO

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