A treasure trove of corals has been found mid-sea off the Konkan coast by the scientists of the National Institute of Oceanography.
The coral site is located in Arabian Sea, some 100-110 kms of the coastal districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg of Maharashtra.
The place is known as Angria Bank, named after famous Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Anger, who is known to have fought a battle there.
The expedition was initiated to study the biodiversity of the area by the forest department of Maharashtra. Funded by the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), it was executed by the scientists of NIO in Goa at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore.
“The peculiarity of Angria Bank corals is that it is in the middle of the sea. Unlike other corals which are either coastal in nature like the Gulf of Mannar or the Andaman and Nicobar corals which are island corals, the Angria Bank is in the middle of the sea.
“It must have been an island some 10,000 years ago, which is now submerged under water. So, while the area around Angria Bank has a depth of 1000 meters, Angria Bank’s tip is just 24 feet deep.
“Since it was a hill or a small mountain it was an ideal place for the corals to grow with abundant sunlight and the elevation,” Ingole said.
He added that since it is away from the coast, it also saves the corals from pollution emanating from the coast.
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