Washington: Cemeteries are commonly built for humans, but in Kerala, they are made for fishes too. They are not just tombs made up of cement or mud, but iron frames that raise their heads to the sky and are filled with single-use plastic bottles.
On the few-feet-long gravestones situated on the seashore of Beypore, the photographs of endangered species or extinct fishes including one freshwater fish - Miss Kerala (Sahyadria denisonii) - are displayed to create awareness among about the menace of plastic use and how the marine life is getting extinct.
Parrotfish, Leatherback turtles, Eagle Rays, Sawfish, Dugong, Zebra shark, Hammerhead shark, and Miss Kerala have been marked as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
It is believed that water and plastic pollution along with overexploitation and climate change have caused the extinction of 15 marine species, and currently threaten the lives of 700 more. The Marine Cemetery has been built by Jellyfish Watersports, under Green Beach Mission, District Administration, Kozhikode, with support of Beypore Port Authority and driven by Aakash Rainson.
It has been built using more than 200 single-use plastic bottles. It was inaugurated on December 4, 2019, on World Wildlife Conservation Day.