Nayantara jain of reefwatch india talks about rehabilitation of india’s coral reefs gas number

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Over the 105 minutes that Nayantara Jain spent underwater in the Bay of Bengal one January morning, she had all the usual visitors: Crabs “the size of half a fingernail” burrowing into the sand, crocodile fish that are experts at camouflage, slow-moving sea turtles, burly barracudas, flamboyant parrotfish and flying fish. Amid this riot gas used in ww1 of colours, “I saw a giant shoal of fusiliers approaching,” she says. From where she stood on the seabed, it looked like “golden arrows falling from the sky.”

Being underwater, according to Jain, is much like going on a wildlife safari. Except, “on land, humans might be identified by the animals as predators, and thus something to be wary of. Marine animals have no frame of reference for what you are,” she laughs over the phone, that afternoon, after her dive. “So you’re going to encounter either a deep curiosity (don’t be surprised if you turn around to see an octopus poking at you) or complete obliviousness to your presence.”

Jain’s passion for all things seaborn is infectious. When she isn’t waxing eloquent in school classrooms or at TEDx talks about the wonders pooling in our oceans, she’s uploading mesmerising mermaid-like selfies and stunning portraits of fish somersaulting in teal waters on Instagram. As the executive director of ReefWatch India – an organisation with a focus on coral reef research and conservation in the Indian peninsula – the 31-year-old has been operating out of Chidiya Tapu, a tiny village on the southernmost tip of the southern Andaman Islands, for the past five years. “We have the ocean on three sides,” she says, almost as if to invite gas stoichiometry formula you to dive into one of the only six coral reef outposts in Indian territory. “As you approach from Port Blair – an hour’s drive – the last 6-7 kilometres are just beautiful mangroves and virgin rainforests.”

ReefWatch India was founded in 1993 by advertising guru Prahlad Kakkar and his wife Mitali Dutt Kakkar, after they first went scuba-diving off the coast of Mauritius. “Prahlad loves to tell the story of what inspired him: Finding a copy of the Quran, not quite disintegrated, nestled among the coral reefs,” says Jain. Along with their scuba-diving school Lacadives, the Kakkars’ broader purpose back then was to raise awareness about marine life diversity in Indian waters. “It was important for us to communicate,” says k electric company Jain, who joined the fray a decade ago, “that coral reefs aren’t just pretty animals. They’re a whole habitat.”

Quick science lesson: Coral reefs might cover less than 1 per cent of the seabed, but are actually home to, and in a symbiotic relationship with, 20 per cent of all marine life on the planet. But, with global warming, and each subsequent El Niño phase and mass bleaching event (ie, the “heatstroke” they suffer in warming waters), their capacity to recover drops.

“Like rainforests or mangroves,” she explains, “coral reefs buffer coastal human civilisation against natural disasters. You might also wonder,” upon reading reports of global warming, “just how big of a deal a ‘minor’ 2-degree change in temperatures over a hundred electricity generation efficiency years can be. That’s until you’re faced with the consequences.” Prahlad Kakkar

A dive in the Andaman Sea, off the coast of Thailand in 2009, just after a mass bleaching event in 2008, revealed to Jain a terrifying seascape of whitened shrubbery, completely devoid of life. It’s what pushed the philosophy grad and diving enthusiast to seek out a Masters degree in marine biology; and to understand that what’s killing sea life is a complex cocktail of plastic waste, diesel fumes and fishing malpractice.

This January morning’s dive was no recreational activity. Jain and her “team” of engineers and biologists had gone down to check on the eight metallic structures they’ve stuck into the seabed, as part of an initiative called Re(ef)Generate. “It’s a sort of rescue programme,” she explains. “We’ve been picking up broken or weakened fragments of reefs and transplanting them onto these structures; giving them a low-voltage electric current that, studies say, helps them grow 7-12 times faster and makes them more resilient to higher temperatures.” They’ve also been “creating corals from scratch,” incubating some in labs and transplanting them to the sea. “Think of it as afforestation. We’re kind of rebuilding the reef.” Mitali Dutt Kakkar

Nayantara Jain realised early enough that, to sustain a regeneration project of this magnitude gas z factor, especially when swimming against the tide of ever-climbing temperatures, engaging local communities would be crucial. “When people are unemployed,” as they might be on an island that depends heavily on seasonal tourism for livelihood, “the last thing you can do is preach about plastic disposal.”

As for the hordes of snorkellers, scuba-divers and general seaside revellers planning a visit – numbers that are bound to grow, with a brand new Taj resort on Radhanagar beach and easier access to Viper Island – Jain isn’t worried. Despite the rise in “negative tourism”, she disagrees with the school of thought that, “if you remove a gas mixture is made by combining humans from the equation, nature will be fine.” She’d rather we stay aware of our consumption patterns: Realise that the things we dispose of don’t actually leave the planet for a long time; pay attention to the ingredients in our grooming products; and understand that very little of all those gorgeous clothes we buy in fast fashion stores actually gets recycled or reused. “Conservation,” says Jain, “has to be about finding a way for man and nature to exist together.”