Marine sanctuary to come up at Honnavar in 2022

The jurisdiction of the sanctuary will cover both beach and the sea

Karnataka’s first sanctuary for marine animals will come up at Honnavar in Uttara Kannada.

According to Sanjai Mohan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Karnataka Forest Force, the sanctuary will be inaugurated next year, most likely by January. The Karnataka State Wildlife Board has approved the creation of the sanctuary. The Government is yet to issue a notification on creating the sanctuary.

Speaking to presspersons here on the sidelines of the ‘Shola festival’ organised by Kudremukh Wildlife Division, Karkala in Udupi district, on Wednesday, Mr. Mohan said that the creation of the sanctuary is aimed at strengthening the focus on the conservation of marine animals, including Olive Ridley sea turtles which breed on the coastal belt in places like Honnavar and Kundapur. The jurisdiction of the sanctuary will cover both beach and sea areas.

It may be mentioned here that former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced in the 2020-21 Budget that the State’s first Marine Eco-park will be established in Uttara Kannada at an expenditure of ₹1 crore.

Mr. Mohan said that the Forest Department will organise a series of new festivals for strengthening the focus on the conservation of a variety of fauna other than tigers, lions, elephants, and flora. All of them will be held before March, 2022.

It will organise frog festival on the backwaters of Sharavathi, a turtle festival at Honnavar, a wolf festival with a focus on the conservation of wolf, fox, and hyena at Koppal, and a grass festival at Belagavi.

There are a variety of fauna and flora having their own typical eco system. All of them are important and will have to be conserved.

The department has already organised festivals of birds, bee and butterflies, and Mahseer fish. The new festivals will be their continuation.

Ruthren Periyasamy, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Kudremukh Wildlife Division, Karkala said that the festival had been organised to create a platform for strengthening further the ‘Shola forests and grasslands’ in association with local people, scientists, and all other stakeholders.

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