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 of India is an arm of the Arabian Sea, separating the Saurashtra Peninsula from the Great and Little Rann of Kutch.
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 (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.
Flora and Fauna:
The 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.
Major Wildlife Attractions:
Coral Reefs, Turtles, Sea horse, Sea Cow, Dolphins, sea cucumbers etc.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit the Manali Sanctuary is between October and February.
How to Get there:
Air: The Nearest airport is Jamnagar (7 kms).
Rail: The Nearest bus station is Jamnagar (7 kms).
Road: The Nearest Railway station are Jamnagar – 7 kms and Rajkot – 90 Kms.
Jamnagar (07 kms)
Coral Reefs, Turtles, Dolphins