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Event Details

Coral Bleaching event report

Category: Coral Bleaching
Observation: 30.05.2010
Continent: Asia
Country: Sri Lanka
Area: Gulf of Mannar
Severity: Hight
Event details
High sea-surface temperature during peak of summer was blamed for the recent bleaching of coral reefs at Gulf of Mannar (GoM). GoM located at south-eastern tip of India and west-coast of Sri Lanka, is one of the four major coral reef areas of India, the others are * Andaman & Nicobar ,* Lakshadeep and * Gulf of Kutch. GoM carries two rare distinctions of being * The first Marine Biosphere Reserve in all South and South East Asia and * A rich coastal region of Asia with 3,600 species of flora and fauna. Summer in India lasts from April-June. First signs of threat to coral reefs were noticed in the second week of April, when the climate became scorching hot and humid, creating a new coral reef environment. The surface water temperature, shot up to extremes, varying from 33.6 degrees to 40 degrees. Unable to adapt to the sudden magnitude of stress, corals suffered loss of pigment and shed their luxuriant hues, turning into bleached white and less appealing. . Affected species were identified as Acropora nobilis, Acropora.formosa, Porites lutea, Favia pallida, Montipora divaricata etc. Earlier coral bleaching in MoG took place in 1998, 2002 and during Tsunami 2004. Speaking to the press, M. Sundarakumar-Wildlife Warder-GoM, said “It is essential that the coral areas should not be disturbed by the fisher folk and by any kind of illegal fishing…The Marine National Park authorities have also intensified the vigil in order to avoid any human disturbance” A setback is estimated in the livelihood of the local population, who heavily rely on fish, sea-cucumbers and corals for their income and food.
Event map:
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