|The Gulf of Mannar, India.|
| 117 hard coral species have been recorded in the Gulf of Mannar. Sea turtles are frequent visitors to the gulf as are sacred sharks, dugongs, and dolphins. However, the combined effects of 47 villages, with a total population of around 50,000 has meant that overharvesting of marine species has become a problem. Fish catches have declined, as have pearl oyster, gorgonian and acorn worms populations. Local fishermen rely on the reef to feed their families however destructive fishing methods combined with the stress of pollution and coral mining have meant both nearshore and offshore catches have decreased.|
Examples of harvested coral (left). Photo courtesy of Topham, UNEP.
|Around 250metres3 of coral is quarried from the Gulf of Mannar per day. This mining and coastal erosion combined with crown-of-thorns starfish infestations that graze on the reef has caused much coral loss. Sewage pollution on the Keelakarai coast has caused algae growth to cover corals and black and white band coral diseases have been recorded.|
printed on 2013/05/25 00:49:55