Thursday, September 19, 2019
Tourism

Tourism      Wildlife      Marine National Park      Gujarat     Jamnagar    



Marine National Park

 
 

Place

:

The Gulf of Kutch, Jamnagar District, Gujarat

Best season

:

October and March 

Nearest Town

:

Jamnagar (7km) 

Significance

:

India's first Marine National park

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India's first Marine Sanctuary and National park is found in the Gulf of Kutch, Jamnagar District in Gujarat. The Gulf of Kutch located on the west coast of India is an arm of the Arabian Sea, separating the Saurashtra Peninsula from the Great and Little Rann of Kutch. At its seaward (western) end it is 58 km wide, from which point it tapers gradually eastwards, extending for nearly 170 km with maximum depth of 60 mts and an average depth of about 20 mts. 

The Marine sanctuary and the park located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Kutch were established in 1980 and 1982 respectively under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for the protection of threatened marine flora and fauna in the area. 

The Marine Sanctuary when established extended over an area of 270 sq. km., from Okha to Jodhya. The core area of 110 sq. km. was subsequently notified as the Marine Park, comprising areas of 7,000 ha off Okha in the west and 4,000 ha off Jamnagar to the east.

In 1982, the protected area of the sanctuary was enlarged nearly to 458 sq. km. and that of the park is now 162.89 sq.km. In all a total 931.33 Sq.Km of area including Mangrove forests is under the administration of Jamnagar Circle.Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has declared this Park as catThe landscape of the shallow waters of the park is dominated by a complex coral reef ecosystem, coupled with extensive mangroves. Apart from the rich collection of corals in different shapes and sizes, mainly six species of mangroves are commonly represented in this area, i.e. Avicennia marina, Avicennia alba, Avicennia officianalis, Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal, Aegiceros corniculata. Sporadic presence of Salvadora, Tamarix dioca and Commiphora wightii is observed on islands. The slushy muddy mangrove marshes provide a paradise for marine creatures, marine Flora and colourful living corals.Mangroves also support huge breeding colonies of painted storks (Mycteria leucocephala), herons, egrets, ibises, spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), darters (Anhinga melanogaster), Flamingoes, avocets, ducks, terns, gulls and little cormorants (Phalacrocorax niger) and Stints. egory-II area in the list of important National Parks of the world, published by them.

India's first Marine Sanctuary and National park is found in the Gulf of Kutch, Jamnagar District in Gujarat. The Gulf of Kutch located on the west coast of India is an arm of the Arabian Sea, separating the Saurashtra Peninsula from the Great and Little Rann of Kutch. At its seaward (western) end it is 58 km wide, from which point it tapers gradually eastwards, extending for nearly 170 km with maximum depth of 60 mts and an average depth of about 20 mts. 

Besides Mangroves, the major flora include sea grass and sea weeds, Saag, Sesam , Kheru, Limda etc. and the major Fauna are Coral lichen, Coral sponge, Green sponge, Puffer Fish, turtles, dolphins, crabs, Prawns, Sea anemones, Jelly Fishes, Starfishes, octopus etc. In all, the area supports 37 species of hard and soft corals, 70 species of sponges, 150-200 species of fishes, 27 species of prawns, 30 species of crabs, more than 200 species of molluscs, 3 species of endangered sea turtles, 3 species of sea snakes, 3 species of sea mammal, 94 species of water birds, 78 species of terrestrial birds and 108 species of brown, green and red algae. Sea grass also offers an ideal habitat to the diverse biota and act as buffers between mangroves and coral. Some of the sea grass species support unique fauna like the endangered herbivorous marine mammal dugong and the sea horse. Migratory sea turtle also depend on sea grass. Green Turtles from as far as Brazil come and breed along the coast of Gulf of Kutch and on the sea shore of Saurashtra. Besides Green sea turtle, Olive ridley turtle and Leather back turtle are also found visiting Gulf of Kutch. The Marine National Park is maintaining a hatchery at Madhupur near Porbandar and also some temporary hatcheries on islands near Okha and Dwarka.

There are between 30 and 40 islands on the Jamnagar coast in the Marine National Park, all surrounded by reefs. The best-known islands are Pirotan, six sq. km. located 16 km north of Bedi Port, Karubhar, Narara, Poshitra etc. Sunsets at the islands esp. Pirotan is beautiful with colours and hues of various types of birds and sightings of dolphins, octopus etc. Most of the beaches along the coast are sandy and muddy, or have large sandstone expanses. The best period for visiting the park is from November to January.

Other tourist places near the park are Khijadiya, an excellent bird sanctuary is about 15 Km away from Jamnagar, which inhabits many resident and as well as migratory birds. The area of khijadiya bird sanctuary is 6.05 Sq Kms and Dwarikadish Temple, about 150 Km from Jamnagar Is the famous Dwarakadish temple (Dwaraka) of Lord Sri Krishna.







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