Deep Ocean Mission and Resource Management: Problem of Ghost Gear-Fishing (Download PDF)

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Drawn up of a 5-year plan to explore the deep ocean. Drawn up by the Central government. Exercise coordination- Ministry of Earth Sciences. The blueprint of “Deep Ocean Mission” has been recently unveiled by the MOES. Mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration. Started by ISRO about 35 years ago. Allotment of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to India (2.2 million sq. km) in the international waters.

  • Key deliverables- Offshore desalination plant that will work with tidal energy, developing a submersible vehicle that can go to a depth of at least 6,000 metres with three people on board.

Focus will be on technologies for

  • Deep-sea mining.

  • Underwater vehicles.

  • Underwater robotics.

  • Ocean climate change advisory services.

Resource Management

Problem of Ghost Gear-Fishing

  • Indian oceans.

  • Serious Concern.

  • Innovative solutions from across the world to tackle this.

Recent Happenings

  • Ghost gear is fishing equipment.

  • Lost, discarded or abandoned in water bodies.

  • Divers regularly make underwater trips.

  • Extraction of nets that have sunk to the ocean floor.

  • Covers the regions off India’s coasts, ranging from Tamil Nadu to Maharashtra.


  • Ghost nets are often ‘ghost fishers’.

  • Ocean currents carry them for thousands of km across the ocean floor.

  • E. g. discarded Indian and Thai fishing nets have been fished out of Maldivian coasts.

  • Entangle, injure and drown marine life and damage live corals along the way.

The Olive Ridley Project is a U. K. registered charity.

  • Removes ghost nets.

  • Between 2011 and 2018, the project recorded around 600 sea turtles being entangled in ghost gear near the Maldives.

  • Casualties worldwide include whales, dolphins, sharks and even pelagic birds.

  • As per a report in 2016 over 5,400 marine animals belonging to 40 different species entangled in ghost gear or associated with it.


  • A huge gap in data from the Indian, Southern and Arctic Oceans.

  • Prompted on future studies to focus on these areas.

  • Still no data pertaining to the extent of prevalence of ghost gear off India’s coast.

  • A national ghost net management policy is under progress by the government.

  • Larger concern-Bigger violations wherein large vessels do fishing where they are not supposed to.

  • Less visible but more worrying- Consequences of overfishing, using nets of the smallest mesh size, and illegal fishing.

  • Entire fishing communities are affected.

Disaster Management

National Disaster Risk Index

  • A draft report on the Disaster Risk Index.

  • Include cyclones, earthquakes, landslides etc.

  • Maharashtra (vulnerability factor of 9.48 on a scale of 10) is at the top of the list of Indian states vulnerable to natural disasters followed by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

  • Delhi is the most vulnerable among the Union Territories.

  • Others include Pune closely followed by Bengal’s North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas. Bangalore and Gulbarga in Karnataka also make the list.

  • Ranked relatively lower in the index- Andhra Pradesh and hill states.

  • Prepared by the Union Home Ministry.

  • Support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

  • Ranks states based on the economic vulnerabilities.

  • Disaster and actions taken to mitigate it.

  • Doesn’t talk about possibility of a natural disaster.

  • Resilient infrastructure- Capacity building by Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh has made significant progress in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

The index takes in to account many factors

  • Exposure of population.

  • Agriculture and livestock.

  • Environmental risk.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 12, 2020

Health, Environment/Ecology

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