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Gujarat Marine Gulf Of Kutch
Marine National Park is a large water habitat of various types of birds and fish species located in Jamnagar district of Gujarat state. The area of this sanctuary is spread over in more than 270 sqkm because in 1980, after declaring it as sanctuary, the area of 110 sqkm added more in the jurisdiction of this national park. This sanctuary starts from Okha(last portion of India in Western Gujarat) and comes till Jodiya near Jamnagar city. As per wildlife act of 1972, this area is a collection of more than 42 islands and Pirotan, which is known as most popular island in the area, considered as the base for all the operations being done in this sanctuary.
This water sanctuary is an effort to save the precious wildlife inside the water. In 1980, it was decided to provide proper preservation to the underwater species as being provided to the wild species over land. A detailed survey was done and it was revealed that the coastal area as well as shallow area near the western coast in Gulf of Kuttchh is full of precious underwater species. Diversified life of underwater animals is spread over the area. Geographically, all the areas near this sanctuary have been made by reefs, and reefs are found to be the most convenient shelter for underwater species for development. Biodiversity of this area is amazing in itself as water waves and design of beds of the coastal water banks are much better than in other parts of the world. Okha near Dwarka in Jamnagar is the source location of this sanctuary as the binding and turning point of the land is heaven for underwater species. A 12 kilometers wide belt of Arabian Sea, right from Okha, Dwarka, Salaya and Alang till Jodiya is full of mysterious sea life.
Flora and Fauna
Ecological balancing system of this area is nowhere seen in the world. Whether, great coastal areas and water sanctuaries exist in the world but the floral property and richness of this place is next to none. In recent past, various refineries and chemical factories have been banned and directed not to divert their waste in the water of this sanctuary. Some of the fishing boats have also been found indulged in discharging waste in the sanctuary and banned till they improve their technology. Various types of underwater grasses and herbs are found in this sanctuary. A village named Salaya, 23 kilometers far located from Jamnagar city is the main center for typical underwater herbs. The mound of these herbs is the hatching place of various fish species. In these mounds of grasses, next generation of fishes takes birth. Â Muddy grassland inside the water are another main recharging point for species.
Various fish species, according to a study, approximately 200, are habited in this water sanctuary. Crabs, Prawns are more than 27 races, 3 types of turtles, 3 types of sea snakes, more than 175 species of birds, 56 types of Corals, 3 species of mammals are the approximate family strength of this sanctuary. In the limited area of the sanctuary such rich faunal property is rare. Species have made some temporary nature of hatcheries near Okha and Dwarka as these points are land turning point. On these areas fishery are developed as a major work all over the world, but if the shores are shallow, this place converts into heaven for underwater species. Dwarka and Okha are such places in the world.
How to Reach
This sanctuary is spread in vast area and alongside the coastal line of western Gujarat hence can be accessed through all the ways of transportation.
Jamnagar is the nearest airport located at 7 kilometers from starting point of this sanctuary.
Jamnagar and Rajkot are the nearest railway stations. From where, frequent road transportation means are available to reach this sanctuary.
Jamnagar is the nearest bus terminus for all type of road conveyances.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit this sanctuary is October - February. Boats are also available at various jetties in Jamnagar for visiting this national park.