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Did You Know About Marine Parks in India ?!

By Akshatha Vinayak

A marine park is a protected sea or a lake area which consists of many species of marine life. Such marine parks are usually found in the coastal areas.There are 6 established marine national parks in India. These are the protected reserves and are the breeding grounds of several aqautic animals.

Odisha's coast near Gahirmatha Beach is a major breeding ground of Olive Ridley sea turtles. In the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, there are large coral reefs which have to be protected. Hence, such ecosensitive zones are marked as marine parks in India.

They're also open to public; in some places glass boat rides, scuba diving and snorkelling are also allowed.

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

In the coast of Jamnagar there are 42 islands, these are rich in marine wildlife. In 1980, this area was declared a Marine Sanctuary. Considering the rich diversity of marine life like bottlenose dolphines, green sea turtles, large coral reefs, etc. it was established as India's first Marine National Park.

The Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat is one of the prime marine parks in India. Among various islands, Pirotan island is a famous one.

Gulf of Kutch

A view from the Pirotan Island

Photo Courtesy: S Ballal

Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary

Gahirmatha Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Odisha. It is known for being the main ground for Olive Ridley sea turtles in India. Gahirmatha Beach is located in between the marine park and Bhitarkanika Mangroves. The beach is part of the marine sanctuary and a major nesting place for Olive Ridley turtles.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is located in Wandoor, Andaman Islands. Consisting of 15 islands, the marine park is also open for eco-tourism.

A large varieties of marine animals and coral reefs are found here. In some seasons, tourists can also enjoy snorkelling , scuba diving and boating here.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine Park

A view of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

Photo Courtesy: Sankara Subramanian

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park

A group of 21 islands near the East of Tamil Nadu is one of the marine parks in India. It is in the Gulf of Mannar and has a unique ecosystem.

Gulf of Mannar is a home to large coral reefs and varieties of marine life. It is located between the coast of Thoothukudi and Dhanushkodi.

Gulf of Mannar Marine Park

Birds near the shores of Thoothukudi

Photo Courtesy: Sharada Prasad CS

Rani Jhansi Marine National Park

The Ritchie's archipelago in Andaman and Nicobar Islands consists of this marine park. It was founded in 1996 and is named after the great Indian warrior Jhansi Rani.

One can reach this marine park through ferries from Port Blair.

Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary

Malvan is a coastal town in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra. Malvan Marine Sanctuary is rich in varieties of aqautic plants and animals. One can see pearl clams, mollusks and corals. Even some mammals like Deer, wild boars, etc. are also found here.

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