By the end of 2017, Mumbai will house India’s first Marine Museum.
Only one or two species of aquatic mammals are on display at famous centers like the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Mannar Marine Interpretation Centre in Tamil Nadu. However, the new museum will focus marine mammals specifically. These mammals are aquatic and rely on the ocean and other marine ecosystems for their existence. According to reports, a Sperm whale, Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins, finless porpoises, and a Bryde’s whale will be on display.
Coincidentally, the Maharashtrian coast has had 30 dolphins wash ashore over the past two years. They have also found a few skeletons of whales and finless porpoises. The cell intends to increase awareness with regard to these creatures. Additionally, it will be interactive and educative at the same time.
THE MARINE MAMMALS THAT WASHED ASHORE
The 40-foot-long Bryde’s whale had washed up at Mumbai’s Juhu beach on January 29, 2016. 17 long hours could not save the whale. Therefore, the rescue team ended up burying the whale’s carcass at the beach itself.
Similarly, a 25-foot-long Sperm whale had washed ashore at Sindhudurg, Maharashtra in 2012 has been preserved, along with carcasses of the various dolphins and porpoises.
The Chief Conservator of Forest explained how only recoverable bodies were chosen. Moreover, the bodies were cleaned for display after proper forensics were conducted.
FUNDING AND LOCATION
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is funding the project. The cell would use Rs 10 crore to set up the two museums from its corpus funds, officials said.The 50X5 meter Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre is under-construction at Airoli, Navi Mumbai. Specifically, at the CMCB’s around 5-acre land. “Giants of the Sea Museum” will reportedly be its name.
E. Vivekanandan, marine biologist and scientist expressed the happiness of marine biologists. In fact, he feels that it would also be extremely beneficial to children.
The museum will give an interactive experience through live models of these creatures. Additionally, the museum will also have an artificial water body. A library dedicated to these creatures will cater to the research needs of the visitors.
Moreover, the center will house an additional museum dedicated to turtles. The five species of turtles found in India will be its main focus.The museum’s areal view will be of a giant turtle sitting in the middle of the center.