Coral reefs in the Gulf of Kutch •

Coral reefs in the Gulf of Kutch Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Gulf of Kutch, which is one of four major coral reef formation sites around India. The country has more than 100 national parks, about six of which are marine parks. 

The Marine National Park and Sanctuary, located on the western shore, contains some of the most northerly coral reefs in the world.

The park is home to more than 40 species of sponges, starfish, octopuses, puffer fish, dolphins, and the endangered whale shark. The adjacent beaches serve as breeding grounds for the green sea turtle. 

The Gulf of Kutch has fewer coral species compared to other reef ecosystems due to its high salinity and wide temperature range. Overall, there are about 40 species of hard coral and 10 species of soft coral.

Extreme daily tides in the gulf are useful for viewing the coral reefs. During low tides, the water can drop by more than four meters. 

According to ESA, when the tide is low, visitors can walk in ankle-high water at Pirotan and Narara and view the reefs, seagrasses, and animals without diving.

The image was captured on March 11, 2021 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. 

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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