The National Institute of Ocean Technology is set to take an edge by undergoing a 6,000-metre dive into the Indian Ocean for a mission to explore marine biodiversity and potential of the seabed.
About Deep Ocean Missions:
Deep Ocean mission is the Government of India’s mission to study the various aspects of ocean in an integrated frame work.
Objective:The focus of the mission will be on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics related technologies.
Ministry of Earth Science will be the nodal ministryimplementing this multi-institutional ambitious mission.
Components of the mission:
Manned Submersible: A manned submersible will be developed to carry three peopleto a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools.
India’s indigenous submersible, MATSYA-6000, will plunge into the bowels of the Indian Ocean
Integrated mining system: An Integrated Mining Systemwill be also developed for mining polymetallic nodules at those depths in the central Indian Ocean.
Desalination plants: Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants are envisaged in this proof of concept proposal.
Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services: It entails developing a suite of observations and models to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales.
Exploration and Conservation of Deep-sea Biodiversity: Bio-prospecting of deep sea flora and fauna including microbes and studies on sustainable utilization of deep sea bio-resources will be the main focus.
Capabilities development: The ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ plan will enable India to develop capabilities to exploit resources in the Indian Ocean Basin.
Minerals:The International Seabed Authority has allocated about 75, 0000 square kilometres in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) to conduct exploratory mining. This will mean scouting polymetallic nodules that lie on the seabed. IN
Climate Change:It will help in study Impact of climate change on ocean. This would help India to prepare for any disaster due to climate change.
Technological advancements: It can also help us in innovating technologies from underwater vehicles to underwater robotics.
In line with high seas treaty: United Nations passed this treaty – India too has committed to this – that seeks to protect 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030. Deep sea mission in line with this treaty.
Similar government initiatives:
India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development:
It was inaugurated jointly by both the countries in 2020 to develop and follow up joint initiatives between the two countries.
The Sagarmala project is the strategic initiative for port-led development through the extensive use of IT-enabled services for the modernization of ports.
India has an umbrella scheme by the name of O-SMART which aims at regulated use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management:
It focuses on the conservation of coastal and marine resources, improving livelihood opportunities for coastal communities etc.