Irrawaddy Dolphin population Increaced 

#GS3 #Environment #Biodiversity 

A research project undertaken by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, a public technical and research university located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN),  has helped triple the number of Irrawaddy dolphins in Odisha’s  Chilika lake, asia’s largest natural water reservoir. 

Use of dredging methodology: 

  • Research has taken the help of geotechnical, hydraulic and satellite images studies and developed a dredging methodology. 
  • The project involved the excavation (loosening or dislodging) of unwanted substances from the foothills without damaging the lake’s ecosystem,  removing  the loosened material to the dredge vessel & transportation of the material to the placement area. 

Benefits of the project: 

  • As per the IIT team involved in the project, the research benefited more than 200,000 fishermen living in 132 villages as now seven times more fish can be caught. 
  • The project reduced unwanted freshwater weeds and the biodiversity as well as the ecosystem of the lake get improved. In addition, the production of fish has increased seven-fold and the number of endangered Irrawaddy dolphins has also increased. 

The lake has been renovated at a cost of Rs 10 crore by opening the mouth and other related works in a short period of 6 months & is now off the threatened list (Montreux record).

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