The coast off the port town of Visakhapatnam, Vizag for short, in southeast India was once crammed with marine life, including dolphins, olive ridley turtles, the whale shark and an abundance of fish. This life is now disappearing rapidly, mainly due to overfishing and uncontrolled pollution.
Air pollution in the town itself is at dangerous levels, according to The Hindu newspaper, causing serious health problems for locals. In the ocean, things are not any better.
Pollution from human waste and industry has made oxygen levels drop to dangerously low levels and the water is full of toxins.
Without decisive action to control pollutants, it seems likely that local fishing communities will have lost their livelihoods within a decade and many of the endangered marine animals of the region gone altogether.
Tell the state government to take action on pollution as a matter of environmental, social and economic urgency.
We the undersigned ask that you take immediate action on the pollution that is threatening the marine life of the Visakhapatnam coast.
The extremely high levels of pollutants entering the water are not only threatening several already critically endangered species, they are putting the fishing industry in peril. Many people in this area depend upon the oceans; therefore protecting them should be a priority of the state government, for social and economic as well as conservation reasons.
Action to control the industrial pollution and sewage that is destroying coastal ecosystems is required as a matter of urgency. This is not something that can be put off for much longer: although marine ecosystems can recover from gross environmental stresses, this takes a long time and some species may never return.
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