The Karnataka coastline is a relatively understudied wildlife habitat that covers an area of 320km. Many species of marine megafauna including Sea Turtles, Dolphins and Whales have been found along this coast. In the recent past, excessive fishing, fish farming, industrial and other human activity has taken a toll on the wildlife found in these areas. Despite this, very little documentation or research has been conducted.
The Karnataka Coastal Conservation project was set up in 2019 after identifying several issues detrimental to the health of our coasts and has been working on a number of aspects of coastal conservation along the coast of Karnataka.
Over the last year, with the help of a dedicated team of veterinarians and biologists, ReefWatch has attended to over 75 Marine Stranding incidents, rescued, rehabilitated and released several Sea Turtles and Birds and has conducted several Coastal Clean-ups in coordination with local volunteer groups, and surveyed women in the Kundapur District. Studies were conducted on the waste to establish source, types of waste, brand assessments, etc.
The ReefWatch team in Karnataka is based out of Kundapur and is working on projects to improve our coastal marine habitats and the lives of people dependent on them. Another issue that plagues our coastlines is unsustainable practices such as overfishing, muscle farming, and irresponsible waste disposal. Alternatives methods of waste disposal and muscle farming are being introduced to the locals to help create livelihoods and improve the health of local ecosystems. For effective progress to be made it is imperative to work with stakeholders, local governing bodies, communities and young minds. ReefWatch continuously involves the forest department, local volunteer organisations and the children of Kundapur in engaging activities.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a hotspot of biodiversity located about 1400 km east of the Indian mainland. This unique Union Territory of India is home to coral reefs, mangroves, tropical rainforests, rocky intertidal shores and many endemic species. The islands were severely impacted by the 2004 tsunami and are also threatened by increasing (often unsustainable) tourism, development, climate change and deteriorating water quality.
ReefWatch has been operating a base out of Chidiyatapu (South Andaman Island) for the past 5 years. Here we have been involved with community outreach projects, coral reef monitoring as well as coral reef restoration.
BLUE INDIA UNDERWATER IMAGERY COMPETITION
The Blue India Underwater Imagery Competition has 4 main categories – General, Under 18s, Conservation and Video. The competition is only open to Indian Nationals. Featured here are the winners from 2019. We have currently paused this competition due to the Covid crisis and will be announcing the next dates for submission of entries as soon as we are able.Title: Unicorns of Blue
Taken by: Shinto K Anto
Taken in: Manilao, Philippines
General – In this category we invited underwater images of all types taken by any type of camera. The winning image was a macro image of a Pygmy Seahorse nestled in a fan coral.
BLUE INDIA UNDERWATER IMAGERY COMPETITIONTitle: The Lesser Known Leopard
Taken by: Gaurav Patil
Taken in: Goa, India
Conservation – In this category we invited any image that portrayed a marine conservation issue, whether taken on land or underwater. The winning image was of a leopard ray being gutted by a fishermen on the shores of Margao.
The Blue India Underwater Imagery Competition has 4 main categories – General, Under 18s, Conservation and Video. The competition is only open to Indian Nationals. Featured here are the winners from 2019. We have currently paused this competition due to the Covid crisis and will be announcing the next dates for submission of entries as soon as we are able.
Taken by: Palak Jain
Taken in: Maldives
Under 18s – This category was created to encourage young talent and ocean explorers of the country. The winning image was a lionfish captured by a 14 year old girl from Mumbai. Title: Lion of the Underworld
Taken by: Palak Jain
Taken in: Maldives
Video – In this category we invited underwater videos under 4 minutes long. The winning entry was a beautiful, heart wrenching film about humpback whales, shot in the Kingdom of Tonga by Upamanyu Das.