Laccadive Sea
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The Laccadive Sea or Lakshadweep Sea is a body of water bordering
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
(including its
Lakshadweep Lakshadweep () is a group of islands in the Arabian sea The Arabian Sea ( ar, بحر العرب ''Bahr al-Arab'') is a region of the northern Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, cover ...

Lakshadweep
islands), the
Maldives Maldives (, ; dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, translit=Dhivehi Raajje IPA: ), officially the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic country in the Indian subcontinent of Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and I ...

Maldives
, and
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
. It is located to the southwest of
Karnataka Karnataka (ISO 15919, ISO: , ) is a States of India, state in the south western region of India. It is the largest state in South India and sixth largest in India. It was Unification of Karnataka, formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of ...

Karnataka
, to the west of
Kerala Kerala ( ; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Kerala
and to the south of
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu () is a States and union territories of India, state in southern India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry ( ...

Tamil Nadu
. This warm sea has a stable water temperature through the year and is rich in marine life, the
Gulf of Mannar The Gulf of Mannar ( ) is a large shallow bay forming part of the Laccadive Sea in the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water Water is an Inorganic c ...
alone hosting about 3,600 species.
Mangaluru Mangalore (), officially known as Mangaluru, is a major port city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats about west of Bangalore, the state capital, 20 km north of Karnataka–Kera ...
,
Kannur pt, Cananor , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = File:KANNUR Collage.png , image_alt = , image_caption = Clockwise from top: Gandhi Circle (formerly Caltex), St ...
,
Kozhikode Kozhikode (), also known as Calicut, is an Indian city, second-largest urban agglomeration in the States and union territories of India, State of Kerala in India and List of million-plus urban agglomerations in India, 19th largest in the countr ...

Kozhikode
,
Ponnani Ponnani () is a Nagar Palika (Municipality), municipality in Ponnani Taluk, Malappuram District, in the state of Kerala, India. It serves as the administrative center of the Taluk and Block Panchayat of the same name. It is situated at the estu ...

Ponnani
,
Kochi , settlement_type = Metropolis , translit_lang1_info = , image_skyline = Kochi montage2.jpg , image_caption = Clockwise from top: Marine Drive, Kochi, Marine Drive Skyline, Chinese fishing nets, Chinese ...

Kochi
,
Alappuzha Alappuzha (), also known by its former name Alleppey, is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District in the India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of coun ...
,
Kollam Kollam () , known by its former name Quilon and ''Koolam'' (in Arabic), ''Coulão'' (in Portuguese), and ''Desinganadu'', is an ancient seaport and city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Huma ...

Kollam
,
Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram (), commonly known by its former name Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. It is the most populous city in Kerala with a population of 957,730 as of 2011. The encompassing urban agglomeration populatio ...

Thiruvananthapuram
,
Tuticorin Thoothukudi (formerly Tuticorin), is a port city, a municipal corporation and an industrial city in Thoothukudi district in the India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the L ...
,
Colombo Colombo ( si, කොළඹ, translit=Koḷam̆ba, ; ta, கொழும்பு, translit=Koḻumpu, ) is the commercial capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction betwee ...
, and
Malé Malé (, ; dv, މާލެ) is the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. With a population of 227,486 and an area of , it is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The city is geographically located at ...

Malé
are the major cities on the shore of the Laccadive Sea.
Kanyakumari Kanyakumari () (also known as Cape Comorin) is a town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The southernmost town in mainland India, it is sometimes referred to as 'The Land's End'. A popular tourist destination in India ...

Kanyakumari
, the southernmost tip of
peninsular India South India is a region located in the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous coun ...
, also borders this sea.


Extent

The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member sta ...
defines the limits of the Laccadive Sea as follows:
''On the West.'' A line running from Sadashivgad Lt. on West Coast of India () to Corah Divh () and thence down the West side of the Laccadive and Archipelagos to the most Southerly point of
Addu Atoll Addu Atoll, also known as Seenu Atoll, is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives. Addu Atoll, together with Fuvahmulah, located 40 km north of Addu Atoll, extend the Maldives into the Southern Hemisphere. Addu Atoll is located 540 km ...
in the Maldives. ''On the South.'' A line running from Dondra Head in Sri Lanka to the most Southerly point of Addu Atoll. ''On the East.'' The West coasts of Sri Lanka and India. ''On the Northeast.'' Adams Bridge (between India and Sri Lanka).


Hydrology

Water temperature is rather constant through the year, averaging 26–28 °С in summer and 25 °С in winter. Salinity is 34‰ (parts per thousand) in the center and northern part and up to 35.5‰ in the south. The coasts are sandy but the deeper parts are covered in
silt Silt is granular material of a size between sand and clay and composed mostly of broken grains of quartz. Silt may occur as a soil (often mixed with sand or clay) or as sediment mixed in suspension (chemistry), suspension with water. Silt usually ...
. There are numerous
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from ston ...

coral reef
s in the sea, such as the Lakshadweep islands which are made up of
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. Two different, well-cited models, the subsidenc ...
s and contain 105 coral species.


Fauna and human activities

The Gulf of Mannar is known for its
pearl A pearl is a hard, glistening object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure)A shell is a type of structural element which is characterized ...

pearl
banks of '''' and ''Pinctada fucata'' for at least two thousand years.
Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natu ...

Pliny the Elder
(23–79) praised the pearl fishery of the gulf as most productive in the world. Although extraction of natural pearls is considered too expensive in most parts of the world, it is still conducted in the gulf. Also collected in large numbers are
Shankha A Shankha (conch shell) with Vishnu emblem carved. A Shankha (conch Conch () is a common name of a number of different medium- to large-sized sea snail or shells, generally those of large snails whose shell has a high spire and a notice ...

Shankha
mollusks (''Xancus pyrum'')ICSF p. 27 whose shells are used as a
ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gesture A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication or non-vocal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meanin ...

ritual
and religious object. Other mollusks of the sea are either too scarce or not popular in the Indian society and therefore have no commercial value. Another traditional occupation in the Laccadive Sea is fishing. The annual fish catch is 2,000 to 5,000 tonnes from the Lakshadweep islands, which is mostly constituted by tuna (about 70%) and shark.
Perch Perch is a common name for fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates, together forming the Chordate#Taxo ...

Perch
es,
halfbeak Hemiramphidae is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...

halfbeak
s,
Carangidae The Carangidae are a family of ray-finned fish which includes the jacks, pompanos, jack mackerels, runners, and scads. It is the largest of the six families included within the Order (biology), order Carangiformes. Some authorities classify it ...
,
needlefish Needlefish (Family (biology), family Belonidae) or long toms are piscivorous bony fish, fishes primarily associated with very shallow marine habitats or the surface of the open sea. Some genera include species found in marine, brackish, and fresh ...

needlefish
and rays are also caught near the reefs.
Shrimp Shrimp are decapod crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, Caridea, shrimp, krill, Dendrobranchiata, prawns, woodlice, barnacles, copepods, amphipod ...

Shrimp
,
Achelata The Achelata is an infra-order of the Decapoda, decapod crustaceans, holding the spiny lobsters, slipper lobsters and their fossil relatives. Description The name "Achelata" derives from the fact that all the members of this group lack the chela ...
and small fish, such as '' Sprattus'',
Pomacentridae Pomacentridae is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
and
Apogonidae Cardinalfishes are a family, Apogonidae, of ray-finned fishes found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans; they are chiefly marine, but some species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification ...
are widely used as a bait by the Laccadive islanders. With about 3,600 species of flora and fauna, the Gulf of Mannar is regarded as one of the richest marine biological resources in the world. Of these 3,600 species, 44 are protected, 117 are corals, 79 crustaceans, 108 sponges, 260 mollusks, 441 fin fishes, 147 seaweeds and 17 mangroves. In 1986, a group of 21 islands and nearby waters with the total area of 560 km2 were declared
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a protected area of India consisting of 21 small islands ( islets) and adjacent coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living org ...
. The park and its buffer zone were designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1989. The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 10,500 km2 of ocean, islands and the adjoining coastline, and is the largest such reserve in India. Most of its area is restricted for outsiders and the access of boats is subject to strict rules, but local people continue fishing activities which they crucially depend on. About 150,000 people live in the buffer zone, and more than 70% of them depend on the coastal marine resources. There are about 125 fishing villages with 35,000 active fishers and 25,000 divers for sea cucumbers in the area, about 5,000 women collect seaweed. About 106,000 tonnes of fish were produced in the gulf in 2006, mostly Indian Oil Sardine, oil sardines (''Sardinella longiceps''), lesser sardines (''Sardinella spp.''), ponyfish (''Letognathus sp.''), mackerel, Penaeidae, penaeid shrimp, perches, squid (''Sepioteuthis arctipinni''), deep-sea lobster (''Puerulus sewelli''), crab (''Varuna littorata''), Skate (fish), skates and rays. The seaweed collection aims at shallow-water species ''Gelidiella acerosa'' (''marikozhundu passi''), ''Gracilaria edulis'' (Agarophytes, ''Kanchi passi''), ''Sargassum spp.'' (kattakorai), Turbinaria (Alginophyte, ''Pakoda passi'') and ''Ulva lactuca'', and is conducted between October and March. Because of National Park related restrictions, the production of seaweeds declined from 5,800 tonnes (dry weight) in 1978 to 3,250 tonnes in 2003.ICSF pp. 42–43


References


Bibliography


Marine Protected Areas in India
International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), April 2008, {{Authority control Landforms of Lakshadweep Bodies of water of India Bodies of water of Sri Lanka Bodies of water of the Maldives Borders of India Borders of Sri Lanka Borders of the Maldives India–Sri Lanka border India–Maldives border Seas of the Indian Ocean Seas of Asia Seas of India