Ashtamudi Lake

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Overview:

A new study has shed light on the extent of microplastic pollution in Ashtamudi Lake, underscoring the need for continuous monitoring and addressing “potential public health concerns.”

About Ashtamudi Lake

  • It is a Ramsar wetland located in Kollam district of Kerala.
  • This lake is known for its panoramic beauty and eight channels that connect to one lake. It is because of its eight 'arms' or channels, that the lake is named Ashtamudi.
  • It is the second largest lake in Kerala, which has found its way into the sea through the Neendakara estuary.
  • Kallada river is the major source of water for Ashtamdui lake.
  • The historical significance of Ashtamudi lake dates back to the 14th century when the lake surroundings were the important port connecting the ancient city of Quilon to the rest of the world.
  • Historical records of the Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta highlights Quilon city, in the banks of Ashtamudi lake as one of the major trading centers in the ancient period. 
  • Different species of marshy mangroves was reported in the region, including two endangered species called Syzygium travancoricum and Calamus rotang.

Key facts about Microplastics

  • These are tiny plastic particles that result from both commercial product development and the breakdown of larger plastics. Officially, they are defined as plastics less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in diameter.
  • They are present in a variety of products, from cosmetics to synthetic clothing to plastic bags and bottles. Many of these products readily enter the environment as waste.
  • They consist of carbon and hydrogen atoms bound together in polymer chains. Other chemicals, such as phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), are typically also present in microplastics

Q1: What is the Ramsar Convention?

It is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of Ramsar sites. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971.

Source: New study reveals extent of microplastic pollution in Ashtamudi Lake