The problem of marine timber destroying organisms along the Indian Coasts

N.B. Nair

Abstract



In the history of a developing country like India, there has probably never been a period when interest in the utilisation of timber and progress in this field have been greater than at present. Conservation and protection, have, therefore, become extremely essential for the effective utilisation of the limited resources. There are two approaches to the problem of the destruction of timber structures in sea-water exposures. One is discarding the home-grown, susceptible timbers as structural material for marine constructions and sea going craft, and using more expensive materials such as steel, concrete etc.; but even these are not exempt from the ravages of all types of deterioration and are vulnerable to one or more of the destructive processes. The utilisation of steel and concrete for all kinds of marine constructions will certainly be impracticable for a long time in developing countries like India. The other approach is the use of home-grown timber as building material, with the use of every device and technique calculated to prolong their service life. Careful conservation and scientific protection are integral parts of this reasonably sound approach. This involves among others, a precise understanding of the biology of the organisms which are responsible for destruction. Successful control measures depend upon a knowledge of the nature of the organisms against which the control is directed

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