Agri Business

CMFRI teams up with ISRO to collect wetland data

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on September 30, 2019

In a significant attempt to protect coastal wetlands in the wake of the climate crisis, a mobile app has been developed to collect the complete datasets on smaller wetlands across the coastal region of the country.

The app was developed by the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the ISRO upon the request of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in line with a memorandum of understanding between them.

The mobile app is aimed to generate a centralised digital database of the smaller wetlands (2.2 ha) across the country. Such smaller wetlands cover an area of more than five lakh hectares across the country, while Kerala is having as many as 2,592 smaller wetlands. The app will be used to collect field-level data of the wetlands that include geo-spatial profile, size, water and soil quality, farmed species, pollution status, illegal construction and other biodiversity specialities.

The concept is to integrate field-level regional wetland data to geospatial datasets to enable comprehensive monitoring system in the wake of climate change and wetland vulnerabilities said CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan. The app could become a game-changer towards national wetland resilience through by bridging the gap between satellite and ground data, he said. “Continuous monitoring will help provide village-level real-time advisories for aqua-farmers and alerts on the climatic phenomenon in the future”, he said.

The climate-related events such as floods and run-offs have changed the physio-chemical profile of several wetlands. Many fish farmers and fishermen suffered an economic loss due to washing away of cages, salinity changes in aqua farms, coastal ecosystem changes, and so on. A common digital platform on the health status of wetlands of the country may easily help to understand such vulnerable regions, he said.

The initiative of monitoring the wetlands is carried out by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project wing of the CMFRI. The data collected using the mobile app will be done by registered researchers, farmers and stakeholders while the experts associated with the task will validate the data and will be stored in the central database.

Published on September 30, 2019

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