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Distribution of Coral Reef in India

Coral Reefs in India

List of Coral Reef Sites in India
» Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine water that contain few nutrients.
» The major reef formations in India are restricted to the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, Gulf of Kutch, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep islands.
» While theLakshadweep reefs are atolls, the others are all fringing reefs.
» An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef, island, or series of islets. An atoll surrounds a body of water called a lagoon. Sometimes, atolls and lagoons protect a central island. Channels between islets connect a lagoon to the open ocean or sea.
» Tarkarli in Malwan, Maharashtra is a smaller reef. There are some coral reefs around small inlets in the western part of the Gulf of KhambatAngria Bank is a coral reef off Vijaydurg in Maharashtra.
» There is a coral reef in Netrani Island in Karnataka.
» Patchy coral is present in the inter-tidal areas of the central west coast of the country.
» Coral reefs in India are one of the most ancient and dynamic ecosystems of India. The coral reefs not only provide a sanctuary to a myriad of marine life but also play a key role in protecting the coastline from erosion.

Coral Reefs in India

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

» Situated in the Bay of Bengal, exclusively fringing reefs of about 500 islands, most of these islands have a healthy biodiversity.
» The Andaman Islands are one of the top 4 major coral reefs regions of India, occur around the islands of Havelock, Coral Island and North Bay.

Gulf of Kutch

» Exclusively consists of fringing reefs. The reefs are relatively less developed due to the large range of temperature and high salinity.
» The harbours have less biodiversity. The entire Gulf of Kutch is also known as a marine national park.
» Pirotan island near Jamnagar along with other 42 islands is the Arabian Sea are declared Marine Sanctuary.

Gulf of Mannar

» Fringing reefs with a chain of 21 islands from Rameswaram in the north to Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) in the south. This part of the Gulf forms part of the Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve.
» Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park in the Indian Ocean is an important habitat for the Dugong, Green turtle, Clownfish and endemic plant species.


» Exclusively coral atolls with 36 islands, of which 10 are inhabited.
» The islands range from less than 1 km (0.62 mi) to about 9 km (5.6 mi) in length, and do not exceed 2 km (1.2 mi) in width.
» All these islands Kavaratti, Minicoy, Chetlat, Kadamat, Bitra, Pitti and Suheli Par are known as India’s Coral Islands. 

Frequently asked questions on the coral reef:-

Coral reefs in India can be found in?

A. The coast of Orissa
B. Waltair
C. Rameshwaram
D. Trivandrum
Answer: C. Rameshwara

What are the coral reefs?
Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups.

What is an atoll?
An atoll is a ring of coral around a shallow body of water called a lagoon. Atolls form when corals build a colony, or reef, around the top of a volcanic island. Eventually, the reef reaches the surface of the water and becomes land.

What is the largest coral reef in the world?
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

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