Karnataka to get first Marine national park

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NETRANIKarwar: If everything goes according to plan, Karnataka could soon have its first Marine National Park on Netrani Island off the coast of Uttara Kannada.

Netrani or Pigeon Island as it is called is located in the Arabian Sea, off the Murudeshwar coast of Uttara Kannada district. The island was until recently used by the Indian Navy for target practice, much against the wishes of nature lovers, who feared it could harm the aqua life around. While  the high court has instructed the Navy to stop target practice until further orders,  the government has  come up with the idea of establishing a Marine National Park on the island.

Additional Principal Conservator of Forests and Member Secretary, Karnataka Biodiversity Board,  R K Singh who was in Karwar on Wednesday, said the  proposal for the Marine National Park on the island was still taking shape.

“Only once the case is resolved in  court,  will we  begin work on it,” he told Deccan Chronicle, explaining that the idea was to protect the rich coral of  Netrani Island.

“The park will also encourage eco tourism. Fishermen don’t need to worry as they can continue fishing everywhere except  in the core area of the Marine National Park,” he added.

Welcoming the proposal, Janashakthi Vedike president,  Madhav Naik said the move would help protect the island.  Marine National Parks already exist in  the Gulf of Kutch, the Andaman and Nicobar islands and Tamil Nadu.

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