Research activities on marine wood biodeterioration in Indian waters
V V Srinivasan
India has a sea coast of about 8,000 km - taking into account all islands in Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal. Considerable quantity of wood is used for jetties, piles, catamarans, coastal and fishing vessels etc. and expenditure made on all these strutures including losses involved due to damage by marine borers is considerable. Continous and rapid depletion of timber from our forests particulary at the present time when supplies of timber is far below the demand and foreign exchange involved in import of durable timbers, are also considerable. In order to tackle the different problems connected with the biodeterioration of timber under marine conditions, research Centres were established at Bambay, Goa and Cochin on the West Coast and Vishakapatnam and Madras along the East Coast to cover practically the entire coustal areas of the country. Research directed towards study of biology of marine borers, natural resistance of several species of indigenous timbers and efficacy of wood preservatives in protecting timbers, has yielded vast body of information and good data base on these problems, has been developed.