Mangrove tourism project in Kochi underway

Published on : Saturday, July 1, 2017

indexEnthusiastic tourists and students may soon get to observe Kochi’s threatened mangrove ecosystem from tree-top huts and bamboo walkways. Hoping to increase awareness about mangroves, the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) is set to launch a mangrove tourism centre on its Puthuvype campus this year.

 

This proposed project is pending approval from the State government, and will be developed at a cost of 27 lakhs in 10 acres of mangrove forest at the university’s existing Fisheries Station and Mangrove Research Centre at Puthuvype.

 

It will include bamboo walkways and bridges across the canal system with resting spots powered with solar lighting. Display boards will be arranged throughout the centre with photographs of local fauna and flora detailing biological information. Guests will be able to sit in tree-top huts equipped with basic facilities and watch the ecosystem’s nocturnal fauna including birds such as night herons and mammals such as otters.

 

Tourists will also be able to enjoy boating, angling, and fish spas and other facilities that will be offered at the centre once it is functional. A Mangrove Learning Centre with facilities for student accommodation and a watch tower to observe the surroundings will also be built.

 

The main objective of the facility is educational tourism, to promote awareness about mangroves.

 

“Mangrove cover has dropped from 22 million hectares across the world to just 10 million now,” says K. Dinesh, Assistant Professor and head of the department of aquaculture, KUFOS. He added, “It is crucial to increase awareness about mangroves at the grassroots level. There is a negative attitude towards mangroves locally, and that needs to change.”

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