Environment Current Affairs 2017

Latest Environment Current Affairs 2017 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Environment and Climate Change 2017 all important national updates in Environment events for the year 2017

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Underwater ghost nets posing threat to marine ecosystem: Study

According to recent study, ghost nets (abandoned, lost or dumped fishing nets) have emerged as the greatest killers of the marine ecosystem off Kerala coast.

These ghost notes may have long-term implications for marine life if no proper correctives are taken to deal with them. It may become major threat to the natural habitat and breeding ground of underwater fish.


Ghost nets have destroyed or threatened many of the underwater reefs identified with flourishing fish stock because of its ‘stifling cover’. Globally, it is estimated that at least 10% of the reduced fish catch can be blamed on ghost nets, some of which have survived deep underwater for decades together.

Key Facts

There are four types of ghost nets that infest the bottom of the seas. The first are the large fishing vessels that stray into the territorial waters and deploy large nets. These nets get caught in underwater reefs, forcing the fishing vessel to abandon them before leaving the territorial waters.

The second type of ghost nets are smaller and are used by fishermen, but are cut off by a passing vessel. They too drift at the bottom of the ocean floor and get attached to the rough features there. The third type of ghost nets are those that get caught in violent currents and swivel down to the ocean floor, where they get stuck. The fourth type are ghost nets are those which get abandoned at sea after three or four uses. These nets remain under water for decades if not centuries.


NGT declares 100m from edge of Ganga as No-development Zone

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has passed a slew of directions, measures, fines, and strict deadlines to rejuvenate River Ganga.

It declared ‘No-Development Zone’ along an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river in the stretch between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. This zone must be turned into green belts.

NGT directions

The NGT has banned dumping of waste of any kind within 500 metres from the edge of River Ganga.  Rs. 50,000 environment compensation will be imposed on anyone who dumps waste in the river. The apex environment regulator also directed all authorities concerned to complete various projects including setting up of a sewage treatment plant and cleaning drains within two years.

The NGT also directed Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments to formulate guidelines for regulating religious activities on the ghats of Ganga River or its tributaries. It also ordered to stop indiscriminate extraction of groundwater from all industrial units falling in the catchment area of Ganga River.

The NGT also directed Uttar Pradesh government to be duty-bound to shift tanneries within six weeks, from Jajmau in Kanpur to leather parks in Unnao or any other appropriate place.

It also appointed a supervisory committee, headed by the secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry and comprising IIT professors and officials from UP government to oversee implementation of the directions passed in its verdict. It also asked the committee to submit reports at regular intervals.