The Lanka Environment Fund (LEF) is proud to announce that a SALT-LEF led coalition received a 3.5 million NOK ($415K) grant from the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund to fund work aimed at reducing the amount of marine debris washing ashore the Gulf of Mannar’s fragile coastlines.
The study site, which sits between Sri Lanka and India, is located within the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, an area of global importance. Known to be one of the world’s most productive fisheries, the nutrient rich waters of the Gulf of Mannar harbor a multitude of marine species including critically endangered species such as the dugong, hawksbill turtle and the finless porpoise.
This multi-stakeholder project aims to offer a holistic solution to limit the fishing industry related marine debris that is polluting this area. It will offer policy recommendations to relevant government organizations, facilitate community engagement activities such as awareness programs and plans to pilot a pragmatic solution which will aim to up-cycling / recycling of fishing industry related marine debris such as nets or buoys.
The coalition which comprises of SALT Lofoten AS (SALT Sustainability), the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) Sri Lanka and the Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI), Tamil Nadu, India and the Lanka Environment Fund (LEF) will embark on this three-year project starting May 2021. This project is currently on-going and entering its second year. The Covid-19 pandemic and the on-going economic crisis in Sri Lanka has severely hampered the progress of this project.