Marine debris – the global problem least studied in India

A. Arun Kumar and R. Sivakumar write in Current Science:

The accumulation of macro and micro debris is a growing concern in the oceans and coastlines all over the world. However, the debris characteristics, accumulation and transport pathways along the Indian coastline remain poorly studied. Marine debris is not just an aesthetic problem; it poses a serious threat to marine organisms, ecosystems, human health and navigational safety. Despite the increased international attention, the build up of these materials along the Indian coastline and coastal waters is poorly understood or reported. Since the debris problem is global, curbing the issue in our coasts is not a single step process. Nevertheless, assessment and monitoring of this debris along the beaches, coastal waters and on the seabed is crucial for understanding the dynamics of debris movement and subsidence.