GULF OF KACHCHH
The Gulf of Kachchh reefs (22º15`-23º40`N; 68º20`-70º40`E) are the northernmost of India.
The coral growth occurs in the form of fringing reefs on the wave-cut sandstone banks around 32 islands among the 42 that adjoin the southern flank of the Gulf.
Because of the geographical isolation and the extreme environmental variations (temperature range 15-35ºC, salinity range 25-40), strong tidal currents and the heavy sediment load, the diversity of corals is quite low: 37 species under 23 genera. All coral species are massive or encrusting, with a total absence of arborescent and racemose forms.
Noteworthy associated ecosystems are the mangroves and algal beds. The mangroves occur in dense strands in most of the islands and as stunted patches along the coast.
All the island reefs and the intertidal expanses with corals have been declared as Gulf of Kachchh Marine National Park.