Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch

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Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch
During the low tide, the sea falls back miles and the hidden sea floor is revealed
Map showing the location of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch
Map showing the location of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch
Marine National Park
LocationGulf of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka district, Gujarat, India
Nearest cityJamnagar
Coordinates22°28′N 69°37′E / 22.467°N 69.617°E / 22.467; 69.617
Area162.89 km2 (62.89 sq mi)
Governing bodyForest Department of Gujarat

Marine National Park in the Gulf of Kutch is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Kutch in the Devbhumi Dwarka 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. 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.[1] It is located just adjacent to Indianoil COT at Vadinar. Many people working at Indianoil are certified guide at the park.


The fauna found here include: 70 species of sponges are found. Coral 52 species including 44 species of hard coral 10 species of soft coral and almost 90 species of birds.

A sea slug on the sea floor rock. As the sea recedes, the sea creatures are exposed to the harsh sunlight before they retreat to deeper waters or take cover under rocks.
The western reef heron (dark morphed) on the prowl. The birds visit the Narara coasts during low tide to pick on the fishes and crustaceans hiding beneath the rocks and reefs.

Jellyfish, Portuguese man of war and sea anemones are other coelenterates 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.[2] Larger whales[3] such as blue whales,[4] sei whales are seen.[5] Humpback whales, and sperm whales may have been almost wiped out due to illegal whaling by the Soviet Union and Japan.[6] Whale sharks can be found in deeper areas.[7] A surprisingly large scale greater flamingo colony, reaching up to 20,000 nests is known to occur along the gulf and many other birds species found here like crab plovers, sandpipers, western reef egret, great egret, ruff, eurasian oystercatcher, greenshanks, redshanks, gulls, skimmers, ducks, pelicans, storks, Godwits, terns.[8] There are 42 islands in the Arabian Sea with coral reefs and the park is situated in one of those.[9]

Biodiversity and conservation challenges[edit]

Marine National Park of Gulf of Kutchh is a fragile ecosystem.[10] 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.[1] 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.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Apte, Deepak. "Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutchh: A conservation challenge" (PDF). Bombay Natural History Society: 26–27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2009-01-22. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ TNN - The Times of India. 2009. Gulf of Kutch favourite dolphin playground. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
  3. ^ Jackson J. 2006. Diving with Giants. pp.59. New Holland Publishers Ltd. Retrieved on December 17. 2014
  4. ^ Mammals Archived 2014-05-14 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
  5. ^ The Marine Mammal Conservation Network of India.Balaenoptera borealis Archived 2014-05-13 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
  6. ^ Clapham P.. Ivashchenko Y.. Marine Fisheries Review. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
  7. ^ Gujarat Tourism. Marine National Park Archived 2010-12-12 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on May 13. 2014
  8. ^ Thapar V. 1998. Land of the Tiger. p. 161. University of California Press. Retrieved on May 13, 2014
  9. ^ "A marine park in Gujarat on its way to become hot tourist spot". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  10. ^ 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

External links[edit]