Tourism Industry: A Threat to the Marine Ecosystem

By: Talat Mohsin

India is home to a large number of spectacular marine life which have a habitat in its tropical oceans along with the usual hill stations and various wildlife sanctuaries. With the ever-increasing popularity of beaches as a tourist destination in India, the marine life is now under a threat.

Due to the high demand of tourists in the coastal areas, many changes are being done to them to accommodate more and more people. Many of these activities have adverse effects on our ecosystems. While it generates income that often makes it possible to help improve our environment, the negative impacts are more than positive. Some of these are listed below:

  • Increase in water and energy consumption
  • Increase in pollution (air, water, and noise)
  • Litter, erosion, and fires
  • Disturbance in the ecosystem
  • Spoliation of flora and fauna
  • Increase in wastage
  • Disruption of the aesthetic appeal of the location

An example of this is the coast of Sindhudurg. In recent times, Sindhudurg has emerged as a very popular tourist destination. But the popularity has resulted in the endangerment of its marine life. Thankfully, it’s mainstreaming project has taken initiatives to increase awareness among the people and promoting biodiversity sensitive practices. Young and trained scuba divers are also taking initiatives to serve as agents of change. They perform rescue and release of animals and also get rid of the major solid pollutants in the water. They even educate people on marine conservation and it’s importance. Often, consumers don’t realize the threats looming on our marine life because of our incessant travels. But as the need for environmental sustainability is growing, more and more public and authoritarian figures are shifting their stance as well. The ecosystem is ours, therefore the responsibility of protecting it falls on our shoulders too.

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