This paper presents distribution records of 184 fish species surveyed in rocky reef habitats on the west coast of India. Surveys were completed in situ by SCUBA diving. Twelve species appear to be new records for India based on previous literature including Fishbase. These are in the families Apogonidae, Pempheridae, Cirrhitidae, Pomacentridae, Acanthuridae, Balistidae, Monocanthidae, and Ostraciidae. Most fish species for which there are IUCN assessments were in the Least Concern category. However, one species was Endangered, two species Vulnerable, and three species Near Threatened. Several Data Deficient species were also recorded, which presents opportunities for research to strengthen conservation.
Grande Island is less explored for its biological diversity and this study provides the first comprehensive report on the coral community structure, Live coral cover and its diversity were high in the mid-shelf zone (5–8 m) compared to the shallow (8 m), Competition posed by turf algae and sponges was the predominant stressor affecting the live coral colonies, Coral diseases such as white plaque disease and trematodiosis were common among the live coral colonies.
Interestingly, a recent study from the journal Nature Communications exploring the effects of declining fish species on the health of coral reefs found that it was not a decrease in the number of species that most affected reef vitality, but rather a decrease in the amount of fish urine circulating in the water..
In the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef, about 67 percent of the corals have died over the last 8-9 months, making it the largest loss of corals ever recorded for the Great Barrier Reef, scientists say. On some reefs in the northern part of the Great Barrier, nearly all corals have died. But the central and southern part of the Great Barrier seem to have fared better, suffering “minor” damage compared to the northern region. Scientists expect that it will take at least 10-15 years for corals in the northern region to regrow, but a fourth bleaching event could strike the region before the reefs have had the chance to recover completely.
We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Wildlife Conservation Society of India to work together on conservation projects. Please find the details on the Collaborators page.
Quoted in an article by the Times of India “What’s plaguing Goa’s Oceans today: Overfishing, Underwater Garbage and Irresponsible Tourism” on 8th June 2018. “Global warming, excess silting, underwater garbage and pollution are the primary areas of concern when it comes to Goa’s marine life right now’ but the most ‘immediate problem is of underwater garbage’.” He says ‘We are currently working with the GWMC and the local tourism industry stakeholders to tackle this problem at source. Some of the long-term solutions are strong education campaigns for the general public about personal waste reduction, which includes management, segregation and collection at source, besides recycling and proper disposal of the rest. other than that we need to find new uses for disposed materials, reduce or eliminate single use plastics, and impose fines and stiff penalties on polluting industries and public.
On May 8, 2017, the Times Of India wrote an impressive article “Probe reason for Olive Ridley turtles’ deaths: Conservationist” about the dying of Olive Ridley turtles and our aim to stop it. Our petition to Tuborg to tackle beer bottle menace gained momentum and was set in the right light.
Journalist Rahul Chandawakar joined our annual beach and underwater clean up. His article “Making An Impact From The Bottom Of The Sea” about our event was published in the Herald on May 7, 2017.
Venkat of Coastal Impact was quoted in an article “Damage greater than the eye can see” by the Times of India on 21st June 2014.
“Tar balls, if they are not breaking down, can smother marine life and even corals. luckily for us, tar balls washing up on the coast is seen in Goa during late May and early June, which is off-season for us (scuba divers).”
“We close in April. But if the tar balls are seen more often, it could affect us. Many are blaming ships for it, but I do not know. We have been seeing this occurrence since the 1970s. I think it’s important to first ascertain 100% the source of this problem which has been plaguing Goa waters and beaches for years before allocating responsibility or accountability for stopping the same. Given that it’s taking so long, it’s imperative that a special task force should be formed on a war-footing to find the source. Simultaneously, several practical solutions should be examined so that action can be immediately taken once the problem has been identified.”
Paul Fernandes of Times of India wrote an article “17 volunteers give coral-rich St George island a clean up” on the 30th April 2013, shedding light upon our annual Underwater and Beach Clean up in 2013.
“We filled 11 jute bags of 50 kg size with the waste.” says Venkat Charloo of Coastal Impact, showcasing the extent of the underwater garbage problem in Goa.