Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch
|Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch|
|Location||Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat, India|
|Governing body||Forest Department of Gujarat|
Marine National Park in the Gulf of Kutch is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Kachchh in the Jamnagar District of Gujarat state, India. In 1980, an area of 270 km2. from Okha to Jodiya was declared Marine Sanctuary. Later, in 1982, a core area of 110 km2 was declared Marine National Park under the provisions of the Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972 of India. It is the first national marine park of India. There are 42 islands on the Jamnagar coast in the Marine National Park, most of them surrounded by reefs. The best known island is Pirotan.
The fauna found here include: 70 species of sponges are found. Coral 52 species including 42 species of hard coral and 10 species of soft coral. Jellyfish, Portuguese man of war and sea anemones are other coelentrates found here. Arthropods include 27 species of prawns, 30 species of crabs, lobsters, shrimps and other crustaceans. Molluscs like pearl oysters and sea slugs are present. Octopus which change colour are also found. Echinoderms like starfish, sea cucumbers and sea urchins are present. The fishes found are puffer fishes, sea horse, sting ray, mudskippers and whale sharks which are an endangered species. Endangered sea turtles such as green sea turtles, olive ridleys and leatherbacks are seen here. There are three species of sea snakes. There are dugongs and smaller cetaceans like finless porpoises, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Larger whales such as blue whales, sei whales are seen. Humback, and sperm whales may have been almost wiped out due to illegal whaling by the Soviet Union and Japan. Whale sharks can be found in deeper areas. A surprisingly large scale greater flamingo colony, reaching up to 20,000 nests is known to occur along the gulf. There are 42 islands in the Arabian Sea with coral reefs and the park is situated in one of those.
Biodiversity and conservation challenges
Marine National Park of Gulf of Kutchh is a fragile ecosystem. In recent years, biodiversity of marine park has been under threat on several scores like extraction of corals and sands by cement industries, increased turbidity of water, oil refineries, chemical industries and mechanised fishing boats. At present, 31 species of corals are reported in the Marine National Park (Kumar et al. 2014). There were two catastrophic and localised (Adhavan et al. 2014) bleaching events happened in this region.
- Arid Forest Research Institute
- Coral reefs in India
- Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary
- List of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Gujarat, India
Notes and references
- Apte, Deepak. "Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutchh: A conservation challenge" (PDF). Bombay Natural History Society. pp. 26–27. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- TNN - The Times of India. 2009. Gulf of Kutch favourite dolphin playground. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
- Jackson J. 2006. Diving with Giants. pp.59. New Holland Publishers Ltd. Retrieved on December 17. 2014
- Mammals. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
- The Marine Mammal Conservation Network of India.Balaenoptera borealis. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
- Clapham P.. Ivashchenko Y.. Marine Fisheries Review. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
- Gujarat Tourism. Marine National Park. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
- Thapar V. 1998. Land of the Tiger. p. 161. University of California Press. Retrieved on May 13, 2014
- "A marine park in Gujarat on its way to become hot tourist spot". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Biswas N.. The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park and Sanctuary: A Case Study. International Collective in Support of Fishworkers Chennai. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
- Kumar, J.S.Y., Marimuthu, N., Geetha, S., Satyanarayana, Ch., Venkataraman, K. and R.D. Kamboj. 2014. J Coast Conserv., 18: 167-175 Longitudinal variations of coral reef features in the Marine National Park, Gulf of Kachchh
- Adhavan, D., Kamboj, R.D., Marimuthu, N. and Bhalodi, M.M. 2014. Curr. Sci., 107(11): 1780-1781 Seasonal variation and climate change influence coral bleaching in Pirotan Island, Gulf of Kachchh Marine National Park, Gujarat
- www.jamnagar.org Tourist information about the Marine National Park
- Images Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park in Jamnagar
- Birds and Wildlife in Jamnagar
- Hard Corals Order:Scleractinia From Gulf of Kutch
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