Eminent marine scientists, oceanographers, fisheries researchers and marine biotechnologists from across the globe are expected to participate in the third international symposium on marine ecosystems – challenges and opportunities (MECOS-3) in Kochi from January 7 to 10.

Organised by the Marine Biological Association of India, MECOS-3 will serve as a platform for discussions on a range of topics, including the impact of the climate crisis on marine ecosystems and an unusual warming of the Arabian Sea.

Petri Suuronen, Programme Director, Blue Bioeconomy Natural Resources Institute, Finland, will open the symposium on Tuesday.

A renowned researcher in marine fisheries, Suuronen’s recent research paper on how to modify trawling without harming the ocean ecosystem, has received global attention.

The four-day meet, which will be held at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, assumes significance in the backdrop of the recent spate of cyclonic storms and other climatic phenomena in the Arabian Sea.

The meet will also focus on the UN’s sustainable development goal-14 (life under water), development of small-scale fisheries, recent developments in aquaculture, eco-labelling and green fishing technologies.

The symposium is aimed at reviewing the concerns involved in marine ecosystem and formulating strategies for the better and sustainable utilisation of marine wealth by enhancing livelihood options, said Sunil Mohamed, Principal Scientist of CMFRI and Convenor of MECOS-3.

Healthy oceans, coasts and related ecosystems are crucial for economic growth and food production. Billions of people worldwide, especially the world’s poorest, rely on healthy oceans to provide jobs and food, underscoring the urgent need to sustainably use and protect this natural resource, he said.

However, numerous issues such as depletion of resources, marine pollution, extreme weather conditions and rising sea surface temperature, among others, pose a threat to the sustainable utilisation of marine resources, he said, adding that the symposium would come up with a roadmap to deal with these issues.