The PBC's educational work reaches more than 5,000 pupils and students.
Two more shelters as meeting places and workshops for the fishermen were completed.
Simple Fish Aggregation Devices, FADs, were used in a model experiment to create hiding and spawning structures for fish and octopuses in shallow coastal waters to observe the accumulation of fish and the egg-laying pattern of octopuses and squid.
OMCAR continues to be the point of contact for official agencies to investigate stranded marine mammals.
The Palk Bay Center served as a sanctuary in Cyclone Gaja and organized the care of more than 500 affected people.
The Seaweed Rehabilitation Project was started together with the local government in the Palk Bay Center.
Bicycle and fish coolers were handed over to 20 fishmongers in the Palk Bay Center. With these boxes, fish sellers cycle many kilometres to deliver the fish to rural areas. Without them, it would not be possible to supply the hinterland with fish protein.
The Sustainable Fisheries Initiative in northern Palk Bay, launched in 2016, aims to provide artisanal fishermen in the project area with more income from the sustainable use and management of coastal resources by 2025. The participating fishermen are continuing their education and jointly carry out scientifically supported investigations into the preservation of Palk Bay.
At the Palk Bay Center, a pavilion has just been set up where fishermen can meet and repair their nets. Here they have agreed to set up protection zones in the coastal seagrass meadows.
Palk Bay Center - from project to institution
With the inauguration of the Palk Bay Center in the village of Velivayal in the spring of 2011, a platform for environmental education, coastal research, civil protection and socio-economic training programs has emerged, which has become the starting point for various activities in the following years:
- Presentation of the Mangreen project in the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum, South Korea
- Extension and maintenance of mangrove areas
- The women in the villages are increasingly taking over the cultivation and care of the mangroves
- Extension of the training offer to marine biology and sustainable fisheries
- Establishment of a collection of biological products and a student lab in the Palk Bay Center
- International exchange on measures to protect the mangroves
- Evaluation of mangrove reforestation
- Investigation of Palk Bay's seaweed stocks and protective measures
- Training for women on fish processing and marketing
- Initiatives for Alternative Income of Women: Tailoring
- Improving educational programs on various environmental themes: plankton, seagrass beds, mangroves, productivity of coastal ecosystems, fisheries
- Construction of a community room as a meeting place for the villagers
- Improvement of sanitary situation in Palk Bay Center
- one-day free medical care ("Free Medical Camp")
- Investigations on the coastal fishing and ecology of the Dugongs
- Studies on the distribution of seaweed stocks in northern Palk Bay
Dr. Balaji received several national and international awards for his work:
- In August 2012, he receives the IUCN International Award for marine conservation and environmental awareness initiatives in Palk Bay. The prize will go to Dr. Balaji handed over in September during the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea.
- Dr. Balaji receives the Environmental Award of the Provincial Government 2014 (Aringar Anna Award)
- The OMCAR Foundation received the Geospatial Excellence Award 2015 from the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology