Marine Protected Areas in India

India’s coastline stretches for 8118 km, covering an exclusive economic zone 2.02 million square kilometres of area. The continental shelf of India extends to 372,424 square km across 9 states and 7 union territories. As one of the 17 mega-biodiverse countries of the world, it faces unique challenges in protecting its biodiversity.

Marine Protected Areas in India are the area defined under IUCN Guidelines. They limit anthropogenic activities and exploitation of resources in these areas. The definition of Protected Area provided by IUCN has been broadly accepted across the world and is an important topic for the UPSC Geography Syllabus and topics related to the Environment.

In this article, we have provided a list of marine protected areas and marine national parks in India.

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List of Marine Protected Areas

The following is the list of marine protected areas in or near the mainland of India:

State/ UT’s

Name of Marine Protected Area

Category

Maharashtra

Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary

Marine Sanctuary

West Bengal

West Sundarbans

Marine Sanctuary

Kerala

Kadalundi-Vallikkunnu Community Reserve

Community Reserve

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

Dadra & Nagar Haveli Wildlife Sanctuary

Marine Sanctuary

Odisha

Bhitarkanika

Marine National Park

Odisha

Gahirmatha

Marine Sanctuary

Gujarat

Gulf of Kachchh

Marine National Park

Daman & Diu

Fudam

Marine Sanctuary

Andhra Pradesh

Krishna

Marine Sanctuary

Goa

Chorao Island

Marine Sanctuary

Maharashtra

Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary

Marine Sanctuary

Odisha

Chilika (Nalabana)

Marine Sanctuary

Odisha

Balukhand Konark

Marine Sanctuary

West Bengal

Sundarbans

Marine National Park

Gujarat

Khijadia

Marine Sanctuary

Andhra Pradesh/Tamil Nadu

Pulicat Lake

Marine Sanctuary

Tamil Nadu

Gulf of Mannar

Marine National Park

Andhra Pradesh

Coringa

Marine Sanctuary

West Bengal

Haliday Island

Marine Sanctuary

West Bengal

Sajnakhali

Marine Sanctuary

West Bengal

Lothian Island

Marine Sanctuary

Odisha

Bhitarkanika

Marine Sanctuary

Tamil Nadu

Point Calimere

Marine Sanctuary

Marine Sanctuaries and Protected Areas in Island Territories of India

The following table lists the protected areas and sanctuaries located on the Islands of India:

Islands

Name of Marine Protected Areas

Category

Lakshadweep

Pitti

Marine Sanctuary

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Rani Jhansi

Marine National Park

Kwangtung Island

Marine Sanctuary

South Button Island

Marine National Park

North Button Island

Marine National Park

Mount Harriet

Marine National Park

Middle Button Island

Marine National Park

Saddle Peak

Marine National Park

Mahatma Gandhi Marine

Marine National Park

Arial Island

Marine Sanctuary

Bamboo Island

Marine Sanctuary

Barren Island

Marine Sanctuary

Batti Malv Island

Marine Sanctuary

Belle Island

Marine Sanctuary

Bennett Island

Marine Sanctuary

Bingham Island

Marine Sanctuary

Blister Island

Marine Sanctuary

Bluff Island

Marine Sanctuary

Bondville Island

Marine Sanctuary

Brush Island

Marine Sanctuary

Buchanan Island

Marine Sanctuary

Campbell Bay

Marine National Park

Channel Island

Marine Sanctuary

Cinque Islands

Marine Sanctuary

Clyde Island

Marine Sanctuary

Cone Island

Marine Sanctuary

Curlew (B.P.) Island

Marine Sanctuary

Curlew Island

Marine Sanctuary

Defence Island

Marine Sanctuary

Dot Island

Marine Sanctuary

Dotterel Island

Marine Sanctuary

Duncan Island

Marine Sanctuary

East Island

Marine Sanctuary

East Of Inglis Island

Marine Sanctuary

Egg Island

Marine Sanctuary

Elat Island

Marine Sanctuary

Entrance Island

Marine Sanctuary

Galathea National Park

Marine National Park

Gander Island

Marine Sanctuary

Girjan Island

Marine Sanctuary

Goose Island

Marine Sanctuary

Hump Island

Marine Sanctuary

Interview Island

Marine Sanctuary

James Island

Marine Sanctuary

Jungle Island

Marine Sanctuary

Kyd Island

Marine Sanctuary

Landfall Island

Marine Sanctuary

Latouche Island

Marine Sanctuary

Lohabarrack

Marine Sanctuary

Mangrove Island

Marine Sanctuary

Mask Island

Marine Sanctuary

Mayo Island

Marine Sanctuary

Megapode Island

Marine Sanctuary

Montgomery Island

Marine Sanctuary

Narcondam Island

Marine Sanctuary

North Brother Island

Marine Sanctuary

North Island

Marine Sanctuary

North Reef Island

Marine Sanctuary

Oliver Island

Marine Sanctuary

Orchid Island

Marine Sanctuary

Ox Island

Marine Sanctuary

Oyster Island-I

Marine Sanctuary

Oyster Island-II

Marine Sanctuary

Paget Island

Marine Sanctuary

Parkinson Island

Marine Sanctuary

Passage Island

Marine Sanctuary

Patric Island

Marine Sanctuary

Peacock Island

Marine Sanctuary

Pitman Island

Marine Sanctuary

Point Island

Marine Sanctuary

Potanma Islands

Marine Sanctuary

Ranger Island

Marine Sanctuary

Reef Island

Marine Sanctuary

Roper Island

Marine Sanctuary

Ross Island

Marine Sanctuary

Rowe Island

Marine Sanctuary

Sandy Island

Marine Sanctuary

Sea Serpent Island

Marine Sanctuary

Shark Island

Marine Sanctuary

Shearme Island

Marine Sanctuary

Sir Hugh Rose Island

Marine Sanctuary

Sisters Island

Marine Sanctuary

Snake Island-I

Marine Sanctuary

Snake Island-II

Marine Sanctuary

South Brother Island

Marine Sanctuary

South Reef Island

Marine Sanctuary

South Sentinel Island

Marine Sanctuary

Spike Island-I

Marine Sanctuary

Spike Island-II

Marine Sanctuary

Stoat Island

Marine Sanctuary

Surat Island

Marine Sanctuary

Swamp Island

Marine Sanctuary

Table (Dalgarno) Island

Marine Sanctuary

Table (Excelsior) Island

Marine Sanctuary

Talbagicha Island

Marine Sanctuary

Temple Island

Marine Sanctuary

Tillongchang Island

Marine Sanctuary

Tree Island

Marine Sanctuary

Trilby Island

Marine Sanctuary

Tuft Island

Marine Sanctuary

Turtle Islands

Marine Sanctuary

West Island

Marine Sanctuary

Wharf Island

Marine Sanctuary

White Cliff Island

Marine Sanctuary

Galathea Bay

Marine Sanctuary

Cuthbert Bay

Marine Sanctuary

A Marine Protected Area is a zone in the ocean or littoral area where anthropogenic activities are regulated more strictly than the surrounding waters. These places are given special protections for marine wildlife by the national, regional, state and local authorities.

India’s biodiversity protection programmes have been highly successful with 600 protected areas across 161,221 sq.km. Protected areas account for 4.9% of the country’s total geographical area. Recently, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has proposed to create a network of marine protected areas. In this scenario, an IAS aspirant should know what are marine protected areas and major marine protected areas in India.

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