The Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) is in the process of accelerating measures for mangrove conservation in the state.

As part of this, the university’s fisheries station in Puthuvypeen has launched a project for protection and management of mangroves for fisheries and environmental enhancement.

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology, has sanctioned ₹11 lakh to carry out the project.

The project is mainly aimed at expansion of the area of mangrove forests through scientific intervention and improved awareness among the public. It will identify areas for the restoration of mangroves through women and youth participation.

One of the major reasons behind the extensive destruction of mangroves in India was the lack of awareness among the local population. They are ignorant about the biological, ecological and economical significance and societal benefits of this group of plants, K Dinesh, Principal Investigator, said.

A Mangrove Research Centre is already functioning at the fisheries station which produces thousands of mangrove plants a year at its nursery for distributing to the local self-governments and Department of Forests for coastal afforestation of environmental protection. Private organisations are also purchasing mangrove saplings as part of their CSR, he said.