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Bite the bait

A photo exhibition on marine life in India hopes to create awareness about the country’s underwater biodiversity.

art and culture Updated: Feb 21, 2013 18:31 IST
Sneha Mahale

Tropical waters around the world are known for their rich biodiversity and the Indian coastline is no different. Now, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) is working towards creating awareness about the marine life in India with a three-day photo exhibition that commences in Thane on February 23. Visitors can see a host of images on display, from marine mammals to corals, fishes to crabs and shells to starfishes.

“The exhibition has been put together by BNHS’s conservation team, headed by its chief operating officer Deepak Apte. The images have been clicked over the last five to six years along India’s coastline and the aim is to create awareness about life on the seabed,” says Atul Sathe, manager, communications, BNHS, adding that the over a hundred images on display are from their in-house library.

India is one of the mega biodiverse countries in the world and the coastal zones have a variety of habitats like lagoons, sand dunes, rocky shores, cliffs, mud flats, coral reefs, sea grass and mangroves among others. “But in the last few years, we have noticed a lot of degradation. Coral reefs have been damaged because of the bleaching that occurs due to climate change, oil spills have ruined coastlines and overfishing is now a genuine concern with some fish species now
on the verge of completely disappearing from our waters. Through this exhibition, we want to educate the youth about these problems as well,” says Sathe.

The exhibition will be on for three days in Thane, and there are plans to organise it in other areas on Mumbai as well as some spots in the Konkan. “We may also take it to cities outside Maharashtra, but that is not confirmed as yet,” says Sathe.

Reef building corals require warm (23-25 degree Celsius) and clear water, free from silt.
The water has to be shallow (up to 30 m) so as to allow sunlight, since the zooxanthellae associated with the coral need this for photosynthesis
These are the requirements for the existence of corals anywhere in the world
Since these conditions exist only in the belt between latitude 22 degree North and 22 degree South, corals are confined to this bed.