GULF OF MANNAR (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     26th March 2024        

Context: A recent study concluded that coral cover in the Gulf of Mannar region had declined from 37% in 2005 to 27.3% in 2021.

Gulf of Mannar

  • About: The Gulf of Mannar, situated along the southeast coast of India, is a part of the Laccadive Sea and comprises 21 islands.
  • Geographical Boundaries: Spanning between the northwest coast of Sri Lanka and the southeast coast of India, it is bordered to the northeast by Rameswaram, Adam’s Bridge, and Mannar Island.
  • Hydrological Features: It receives water from various rivers, including the Tambraparni from India and the Aruvi from Sri Lanka, with the port of Tuticorin located on the Indian coast.
  • Natural Resources: Notable for its pearl banks and sacred chank, a gastropod mollusk, the Gulf of Mannar boasts unique marine biodiversity.
  • Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park: Recognized as one of the biologically richest coastal regions in India, the Gulf of Mannar is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South and Southeast Asia.
  • Ecological Significance: It is one of the four major coral reef areas in India, along with the Gulf of Kutch, Lakhsadweep, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, holding significant importance for biodiversity conservation.
  • Protected Area Status: Designated as a Biosphere Reserve, it encompasses 21 islands (including 2 submerged ones) and adjoining coral reefs, spanning Ramanathapuram and Tuticorin districts.