Now, a ready reckoner for mangroves

For the first time, a detailed book on mangroves of Ramanathapuram titled ‘Roots of the Sea’ has been published by the Forest Department of the State.

The 130-page book is the brainchild of international award winning Forest Range Officer S. Sathish, who has been working towards conservation of mangroves in the region for the last five years. He has co-authored the book with two faculty members of Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University – Associate professor T. Ramanathan and retd.Dean K. Kathiresan.

Mr. Sathish told The Hindu that book is an useful reference tool for forest officials and scholars who are pursue courses on marine ecosystems and marine biology. Texts and pictorial presentations of different species of mangroves found across the world, in the country, in Tamil Nadu and in Ramanathapuram, how they are beneficial as a pristine ecosystem and what can be done to protect them are highlighted in the book that was released by Wildlife Warden of Ramanathapuram A. S. Marimuthu. The first copy was handed over to District Forest Officer Arun Kumar in the presence of Assistant Commissioner of Forests S. Ganeshalingam

Mr. Sathish said that he felt it necessary to document the mangroves because he did not find much printed material related to it even though mangroves were present in Pichavaram, Cuddalore and Muthupettai besides the Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu and Odisha and Telangana.

In Ramanathapuram, there were 11 species of mangroves. Due to climatic change, indiscriminate fishing activities and lack of awareness, the place is left with eight species. He has been leading the movement to rejuvenate mangroves and also plant new ones over 560 hectares.

People should be aware that mangroves act as sea walls and protect coastal areas from the wrath of cyclones, help purify salt water of the sea, attract migratory birds, are spawning ground for fish and mangrove leaves have high medicinal value, he said.

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