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15. Reading Skills Comprehension: ‘When Marine Life Turned To Death


Read the following passages carefully:

Human casualty figures in the wake of a tragedy have a numbing effect. How do you react when you hear that over 150,000 people were killed by the tsunami? However, the horrific scale of the human tragedy meant that scant attention was paid to another critical aspect, the destruction wrought on marine life and ecosystems.

Even as attention was focused on the mounting human toll in the days after the tsunami, 19; sperm whales were mysteriously found washed up on several beaches in Australia.

Sea turtles already endangered species were hit too. A single hatchery in Sri Lanka saw seven are green turtles and 20,000 eggs washed away.

While the direct impact of the tsunami was considerable, fish, dolphins, sea turtles and sharks were found on seashores all along the affected area; the damage to fragile marine ecosystems, already wilting under the strain of human activity, could be far more significant.

 coral reefs, components of the marine ecosystem, are diverse complex structures. Apart from the direct impact of the tsunami, large amounts of sediments and debris that were thrown into the ocean created turbidity from the clouds that could wreak havoc on that need sunlight to survive. Some reports say coral reefs could take up to 30 years to recover completely.

There is also the considerable concern for green leatherback turtles, which used to nests on the beaches Of the Great Nicobar Island towards the south of Nicobar archipelago. The beach has been washed away. The endangered species 0f Dugong, the grass-eating underwater mammals are also known as the legendary mermaids due to their half-woman, half-fish looks, have lost the grassland that was their habitat in the Andaman Islands.

Mangroves, tropical intertidal forests, that support a huge variety of marine organisms and are considered vital nursery areas for many species of fish and crustaceans have also been severely inundated by the tsunami. However, amidst all the bad news, there’s also been an unexpected stroke of fortune for marine life. Several countries affected by the tsunami have lost a large number of fishing vessels, which augurs well for their survival. In Tamilnadu, around 80% of the small-scale fishing fleet is estimated to have been affected. In Sri Lanka too, around 75% of fishing vessels have been either lost or damaged, and similar levels of destruction have taken place in western Indonesia. Ten of Sri Lanka’s 12 major fishing ports have been seriously affected, with damage to facilities such as cold storage facilities and slipways.

8. Figures from other countries are less comprehensive, but surveys suggest that Thailand has lost more than 4,000 boats. It is thought that Somalia has lost more than 2,000, and the Maldives is without about a third of its fleet, all of which spells good news for marine life in these regions. even if only temporarily.                                                              

1. On the basis of your reading of the passage answer these questions briefly:         (4 marks)                                                                              

(a) How had tsunami-affected marine life horribly in Australia?

(b) What showed that marine life in Sri Lanka was critically affected?

(c) How long does a coral reef take to recover completely?

(d) What do you mean by the mermaid?

2. Complete the following statements.. (2 marks)

(a) Green leatherback turtles used to nest _____________.

(b) Ten major fishing ports in Sri Lanka have been affected seriously as____________.

3. Find words from the passage which mean the same as :

(a) covered with floodwater (Para 7)               (b) thickness (Para 5)


1. (a) In Atra1ja 19 sperm whales were mysteriously found washed up on several beaches.

(b) A single hatchery in Sri Lanka saw seven rare green turtles and 20,000 eggs washed away.

(c) A coral reef could take up to 30 years to recover Completely

(d) Mermaid are legendary fires having half woman half fish bodies and looks.

(a) on the beaches of the Great Nicobar Island towards the south of Nicobar archipelago.

(b) their cold storage facilities and slipways have been damaged in the tsunami

(a) inundated

(b) turbidity

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