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Seagrass Survey and Monitoring

  • The Gulf of Mannar coast and Islands have relatively dense growth of seagrass meadows, mainly between the mainland and the islands (shoreward side from islands), as well as towards the seaward sides of the islands. In the seaward sides of the islands, seagrass appeared as patches. They are found about 2 to 3 km wide from the Island shores towards the open sea. The area between Pamban and Tuticorin has about 101 km2 seagrass cover with dominant species, Thalassia hemprichii, and Cymodocea serrulata.
  • The Palk Bay has more extensive seagrass growth compared to Gulf of Mannar because of its topography and sediment texture. The seagrass beds are present from the shore towards the sea up to 9 km distance. The area between Pamban and Athiramapattinam has approximately 254 km2 seagrass cover with dominant species, Thalassia hemprichii, Syringodium isoetifolium and Cymodocea serrulata.
  • The luxuriant seagrass meadows in Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay form a significant grazing ground for the sea cow, Dugong dugon and support the high number of dugong population presently in India.

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