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Coir Retting


Pollution Hazards on the People and Ecosystem of the Selected Coir Retting Yards in the Southern Coastal Area

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									Pollution Hazards on the People and Ecosystem of the Selected Coir
             Retting Yards in the Southern Coastal Area

       The quest of man to conquer nature has let to increasing degradation of the environment
than envisaged.    Scientists and environmentalist now appear to be strongly committed to
collaborate in finding long term solutions to these vexing environmental and resource problems.
Rapid rate of urbanization has imposed great strain on man and ecosystem. Population explosion
compounded with population from anthropogenic activities has affected aquatic and terrestrial
ecosystem, threading human life and generating massive economic loss.

The coir (coconut fibre) business, essentially a cottage industry that mostly employs women and
it is principal income for the fisher's family. Their fishermen-husbands help out during the
monsoon season when the seas are too rough for fishing and when coir spinning forms the only
source              of             income                for            their             families.
Coir retting yards are highly located along the southern coastal line. An estimated 10 percent of
fibre comes from traditional coir retting in the southern coastal region (Oxfram, 2005). The
husks are separated from the nuts and are retted in lagoons up to ten months. The retted husks are
then beaten with wooden mallets manually to produce the golden fibre. However, coir retting
yards have imposed cost on the environment, on the fish and human health, and biodiversity.
This industry provides more organic matter to the environment. Specially cellulose, lignin and
flushed out the enclosures and pollute adjacent water bodies (Immanuel et. al., 2006). The
retting process used in coir fiber production generates significant water pollution. Among the
major organic pollutants are pectin, pectosan, tannin, toxic polyphenols and several types of
bacteria including salmonella (Tom Woolly et. al., 1997). These pollutant harmfully effect for
the mangrove forest as well as the entire biodiversity of the surrounding areas.

       Coastal ecosystem provide an important services for maintain water quality by filtering or
decreasing toxic pollutant absorbing nutrient inputs and helping to control the health. This is
natural function of coastal ecosystems from which humans directly and indirectly benefit and
which influences the capacity of the ecosystem to provide the important good and services. This
capacity limited and can be reduced by such human actions as the conversion of wetlands or the
destruction of sea grass beds (Lauretta et al., 2000).

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