Marine life in Andaman
Under water life in Andaman - There are about 321 islands in the Andaman and Nicobar group, with a total land area of 8293 sq. km. 38 of these islands are populated.
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Coral reefs in Andaman are of the fringing type, often several hundred meters wide and separated from the shore by a lagoon of similar width. A barrier reef to the west has also been reported but its precise coordinates are yet unknown.
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The coral diversity until a few years back was among the highest in Indian reefs, with 133 species under 57 genera. Recently, a large number of documented and visual new records have also been made, raising the total coral species numbers to 316 species under 78 genera.
Aquatic plants in Andaman - The emphasis of the government on progress and its encouragement to the mainlanders to settle there has resulted in the local tribes becoming a minority group in their own land.
The indigenous tribes are distinguished in two groups: the Onge, Sentinelese, Jarawa and Andamanese of Negroid descent living on the Andaman Islands and the Shompen and Nicobarese of Mongoloid descent living in the Nicobar Islands.
Most of the tribes are on the verge of extinction. This sad destiny will most likely hit the Andamanese tribe first since their number is as low as thirty. The Sentinelese is the least studied tribe still living in isolation on the North Sentinel Island.
Their number is estimated at 250. Outsiders attempting to make contact with them are driven away with bows and arrows. They continue to maintain a unique lifestyle living in harmony with nature just as they have done for thousands of years.
The main crafts of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands include shell and exotic woods crafted for the tourists, palm mats, and beautiful natural shells.
Due to the fear of over exploitation of the Islands' natural resources, trade of some products is now banned.
The documented history about Andaman and Nicobar is limited. It is believed that Marco Polo was among the first from the West to set foot on one of the islands.
Kanhoji Angre, a Maratha admiral had his base on the island in the early 18th century. From there, he attacked passing Portuguese, Dutch and English merchant vessels on their way to or from their various Asian colonies.
In 1713, his navy even succeeded in capturing the yacht of the British Governor of Bombay. Despite many efforts by the British and later a joint military force of British and Portuguese naval forces, Kanhoji Angre was never defeated.
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