‘Beached vessel is a threat to environment’

Beached dredging vessel Bhagvati Prem is definitely a hazard to environment, ecology and marine life if it continues to remain on the shore, said A. Senthil Vel, Dean, College of Fisheries, Mangaluru. Responding to queries from T he Hindu on the possible impacts of the ship remaining aground, Mr. Vel said that the beach-front would take a hit as it will get eroded. The vessel acts as a barrier to waves reaching the shore thereby disturbing and blocking the natural littoral sand movement. Mr. Vel incidentally investigated the impact of grounding of mv River Princess, an oil tanker that ran aground off Marmugao Port at Candolim beach in Goa on June 6, 2000. The vessel remain grounded for 12 years during which time about 1.5 km coastline got eroded. Besides affecting the coastline, the grounded dredger with oil and other environment hazardous material is a threat to environment too. Oil spill, natural erosion of the vessel’s outer body and other hazardous items inside it would endanger the environment, Mr. Vel said. He, however, agreed with New Mangalore Port Trust’s decision to beach the vessel to prevent its sinking and said that a sunken vessel would have posed a greater threat to environment. Since Bhagvati Prem’s hull was said to be damaged, Mr. Vel wondered whether it could be towed away to a scrapping yard. If the vessel has to be scrapped at Surathkal itself, impact on environment would only get enhanced, he said. Every single day counts as far as impact on the coastal line is concerned as the sea is still witnessing heavy winds. The beached vessel is susceptible to drifting as well as toppling. As such, it should be removed at the earliest from the place, he felt. Meanwhile, Mr. Vel sent a team of experts from the college to Surathkal beach to study the situation on Wednesday afternoon.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/beached-vessel-is-a-threat-to-environment/article29837938.ece

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