About Andamans

Weather Report
Maximum
Temperature
:
34.1oC
Minimum
Temperature
:
25.2oC
Relative
Humidity
:
75% at 0830 hrs & 76% at 1730 hrs.
Sunrise :
0522 hrs. IST (31/03/2009)
Sunset :
1730 hrs. IST(30/03/2009)
Rainfall
On 30/03/2009
:
000.1 mm upto 0830 hrs000.0 mm upto 1730
hrs
Total
rainfall recorded since 01/01/2009 Up to 30/03/2009
:
000.1 mm
Local
Weather Forecast
:
Weather seasonal over Andaman sea. Mainly cloudy sky with possibility
of thunderstorm accompanied with light rain.Maximum temperature
will be around 34oC and minimum temperature will be around
24oC
G.B Pant Governemnt Hospital, Port Blair, Andamans
Name  Qualification  Designations 
Dr.S.K PaulDr.
Shiv Sankar Singh
M.D.(Public Health)M.D.(Genl. Med.) DHSMedical Specialist
Dr.
N.Sadasivan
M.S.(Genl. Surgery) Sr. Surgical Specialist
Dr.
Brij Gopal Lal
M.S.(Genl. Surgery) Surgical Specialist
Dr. Wajid
Ali Saha
M.D.Pathology Pathologist
Dr.
Sunil Kumar
M.D.(Psychiatry) Psychiatrist
Dr.
M.K.Saha
M.D.(Gyn-Obst) Gyneacologist
Dr.
Anitha Saha
D.O. Ophthalmologist
Dr.
S.P.Burma
M.D.(T.B.&
C.D.)
T.B. & Chest Specialist
Dr.
S.P.Saha
M.S.(Ortho) Orthopaedician
Dr.
Ashok Subramaniam
D.L.O. E.N.T. Specialist
Dr. Ghanshyam
Singh
M.D.(Anaesth)(DHPA) C.M.O.
Dr. R.K.Haldar M.D. (Dermatology) C.M.O.
Dr. R.Tulsidasan M.D.(Pathology) C.M.O.
Dr. S.K.Paul M.D.(Public Health) DHS
Dr. Omkar
Singh
M.D.(General Medicine) C.M.O.
Dr. Sukumar
Saha
M.S.(General Surgery) C.M.O
Dr. Mishri
Lal
D.P.H.(MPH) C.M.O.
Dr. Jairam D.P.H. C.M.O.
Dr. (Ms)
Madhurbala
D.M.C.W State Family Welfare
Officer
Dr. (Ms)
Kusum Kunwar
D.G.O C.M.O.
Dr. (Ms)
Munni Singhania
D.C.H. C.M.O
Private Clinics
Name Address Phone
No.
Dinesh
Dental Clinic
www.dineshdental.com
Goalghar(Sunday Holiday)& Dairy farm(Sunday Holiday)dineshdentalclinic@gmail.com 231656, 9434263480
Dr.Bhardwaj, PediatricianDr(Mrs).Tamalika Bhardwaj, MBBS, Chirayu Child Care Centre,
Goalghar
211416, 2113119434280622
Dr.
B.Shanmugham Clinic (Pediatrics)
Delanipur 232635
Shyamala
Clinic
Goalghar 234332
Govt
Homeo Dispensary
Middle point
Dr.
K.Rajesh Clinic (Ayurvedh)
Golghar
Nirmala
Dental Clinic
Goalghar 233888
Arora Dental clinicR K Dental ClinicConfiDental clinicsmile n shine Hskp complexPrem Nagardolly gunjnear annapurna
Diagnostic Centres
Name Address Phone
No.
Timings
Dr.Ritikas diagnostic solutions
Holovision Diagnostics &
Lab(ultrasound)
opp sadha bahvan

Dolly Gunj
9933203841
Dr.shailaja
7.30AM – 6PM
Astha clinicDr(Mrs) Krishna Saha

Gynecologist

Bengali club complex Dr(Mrs) Krishna saha 9434283599
Chemists & Druggists
Name Address Phone
No.
Thankavelu
TradersDistributors of around 20 Pharmaceutical
Companies for A & N Islands
2, Babu Lane,Aberdeen Bazar,Port Blair 233317, 244569e-mail : thtr@vsnl.com
T.S.Guruswamy
& SonsDistributors of around 15 Pharmaceutical
Companies for A & N Islands
Aberdeen BazarPort Blair 233185
Kamakshi
Trading & CompanyDistributors of around 12 Pharmaceutical
Companies for A & N Islands
M.B. No. 34, Aberdeen BazarPort Blair 230641,232260ktco@dte.vsnl.net.in
M.K.Medical
Stores
46,Dr. Diwan Singh Shopping
ComplexGurudwara Lane,Port Blair
230142, 236731
Tamil Nadu
Medicals
Aberdeen BazarPort Blair 237658
A.T.R Express Service Commencing from Port Blair
Sl.No Bus Service Time Bus No. Bus Fare Remarks
1 Diglipur Express-E 04.00 A.M 358 Rs.125 /- Daily one trip to and from
Diglipur Express-F 04.00 A.M 361
Diglipur Express-G 04.00 A.M 360
2 Mayabunder Express – A 05.00 A.M 366 Rs.100 /-
Mayabunder Express – C 05.00 A.M 374
3 Rangat Express – B 04.45 A.M 359 Rs.70 /-
4 Kadamtala Express – D -II 12.00 Noon 362 Rs.60 /-
Long Route Service Operated by Other Units
1 Baratang Express D-1 12.00 Noon 318 Rs.45 /-
2 Baratang -Mayabunder(Local Bus) 04.00 A.M 336 Rs.65 /-
3 Baratang – Rangat (Local Bus) 05.30 A.M 378 Rs.26 /-
4 Bambooflat Express 04.30 A.M 350 Rs.65 /-
Harbour Information
Harbours of A & N Islands
Name
of the Port
Maximum Depth at alongside Total length and width
1.
Port Blair
(a) Haddo
No.I
8 mtr 180 x 30 mtr
(b) Haddo
No.II
8 mtr 225 x 30 mtr
(c) Haddo
No.III
8 mtr 150 x 30 mtr
(d) Haddo
No.IV
8mtr 135 x 30 mtr
(e) Chatham 8mtr 220 x 25 mtr
(f) Hope
Town
8 mtr 100 x 30 mtr
(h) Phoneix
Bay Jetties
5 mtr 130 x 10 mtr
(n) Junglighat 2 mtr 120 x 8 mtr
(o) Bamboo
Flat
2 mtr 18.5 x 6.5 mtr
(p) Panighat 2 mtr 18 x 6 mtr
(w) Havelock 5 mtr 84 x 20 mtr
(x) Neil 2 mtr 40 x 10 mtr
2.
HUTBAY
(a) Hut Bay 8 mtr 150 x 33 mtr
(b) Dugong
Creek
2 mtr 18 x 6 mtr
3.
RANGAT
(a) Rangat 5 mtr 118 x 12 mtr
(b) Long
Island
2 mtr 29 x 8.5 mtr
(c) Strait
Island
2 mtr 18 x 6.5 mtr
4.
DIGLIPUR
(a) Diglipur 5 mtr 108 x 20 mtr
(b)Kalighat 2 mtr 10 x 3.8 mtr
5.
MAYABUNDER
8 mtr 202 x 20 mtr
6.
CAR NICOBAR
(a) Malaca 2 mtr 40 x 9 mtr
(b) Tee Top 2 mtr 49 x 9 mtr
7.
KATCHAL
5 mtr 108.5 x 18 mtr
8.
NANCOWRIE
(a) Kamorta 5 mtr 110 x 10 mtr
(b) Chowra 2 mtr 84.5 x 4 mtr
(C) Tressa 2 mtr 21 x 8.5 mtr
9.
CAMPBELL BAY
5 mtr 202 x 6 mtr
BRIEF INFORMATION OF PORT BLAIR HARBOUR (24 Working Hours)
DETAILS
OF FACILITIES
HADDO CHATHAM HOPE TOWN PHOENIX BAY
DISTRICT Andaman Andaman Andaman Andaman
PASSENGER
TERMINAL
20 M X 12 M 20 M X 12 M 25 M X 12 M 16 M X 10 M

7 M X 7 M

30 M X 10 M

7 M X 7 M

CARGO
SHED
40 M X 12 M – 2

38 M X 12 M
- 1

20 M X 12 M
- 2

49 M X 12 M
- 1

20 M X 8 M -
1

25 M X 10 M
- 1

28 M X 10 M
- 1

84 M X 12 M
- 1

56 M X 12 M
- 1

36 M X 12 M
- 1

26 M X 12 M – 1

12 M X 12 M
- 1

36 M X 15 M
- 1

50 M X 12 M – 1

25 M X 10 M
- 2

24 M X 12 M – 1
CARGO
HANDLING EQUIPMENT
Wharf Crane

25 Tonne

6 Tonne

Mobile Crane

10 Tonne

25 Tonne

Fork Lift

3 Tonne

5 Tonne

8 Tonne

25 Tonne

EOLL Crane

25 Tonne

Wharf Crane

6 Tonne

Fork Lift

3 Tonne

Wharf Crane

6 Tonne

CHARGES / RATES
Sl.No. Vessel Chargeable Rates of Port
Dues per GRT
Dues how often chargeable
in respect of the same vessels.
Coastal vessels Foreign vessels
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Sea going coastal vessels
or foreign vessels of more than 10 GRT but not more than 1000 GRT
Rs. 1.00 25 cents For each entry
2. Sea going coastal vessels
or foreign vessels of more than 1000 GRT
Rs. 2.50 25 cents For each entry
3. Sea going coastal vessels
or foreign vessels entering the port in ballest and not carrying passengers.
¾ of Port dues
specified against items 1 and 2
For each entry
4. Sea going coastal vessels
or foreign vessels entering the port but not discharging or taking
in any cargo or passengers therein (with the execption of such unshipment
and reshipment as may be necessary for purpose of repair).
½ of Port dues
specified against items 1 and 2
For each entry
PILOTAGE MOORING /UNMOORING
Item No. Classification of the vessels
and the services
Charges Payable Foreign
going vessels
Coastal Vessels
(a) Upto 300 GRT US $ .04776 per GRT Rs.1.00 per GRT.
(b) Above 300 per GRT but not
exceeding 500 GRT
US $ 0.0952 per GRT minimum
of US $ 38.00
Rs. 2.00 per GRT with minimum
of Rs.800.00
(c) Above 500 GRT but not exceeding
2000 GRT
US $ 0.1523 PER GRT Rs.3.20 per GRT
(d) Above 2000 GRT but not exceeding
10000 GRT
US $ 0.1999 per GRT with a
minimum of US $ 475.25
Rs. 4.20 per GRT with
a minimum of Rs.10000/-
(e) Over 10000 GRT US $ 0.1999 GRT Rs. 4.20 per GRT.
Port Floating Craft
Item Foreign going vessel Coastal vessel
1. Vessel
upto 6500 GRT
US $ 194.50 per hour Rs.4086/- per hour
2. Above
6500 GRT
US $194.50 + US $ 0.0357 per
GRT per hour over 6500 GRT
Rs. 4086/- + 75 paise per
GRT per hour over 6500 GRT
3. For Salvage/
towing
US $ 2322.50 per day or part
thereof
Rs. 48,759/- per day or part
thereof
4. Motor
Launch
US $ 11.90 per hour Rs.250/- per hour
5. Pilot
boat
US $ 68.90 per hour Rs. 1450/- per hour
6.Water from wharf
Water supply
by the shore to the vessels
Rs. 158/- per ton
Berth Hire Charges
Vessel
Tonnage
Rates per day
Foreign
going vessel

(in US $)

Coastal
vessel (in Rs)
(a) Upto
50 GRT
1.4285 20.00
(b) Above
50 GRT but not exceeding 100 GRT
1.4285 + 0.0178 per GRT over
50 GRT
20.00+ 25 paise over 50 GRT
(c)
Above 100 GRT but not exceeding 300 GRT
24.99 + 0.035 per GRT over
100 GRT.
350.00 + 50 paise per GRT
over 100 GRT.
(d)
Above 300 GRT but not exceeding 1500 GRT
107.10 1500.00
(e)
Above 1500 GRT but not exceeding 6500 GRT
107.10 + 0.0108 per GRT over
1500 GRT
1500.00 + 15 paise per GRT
over 1500 GRT.
(f) Above
6500 GRT but not exceeding 12000 GRT
161.50 + 0.0217 per GRT over
6500 GRT
2250.00 + 35 paise per GRT
over Exceeding 12000 GRT
(g)
Above 12000 GRT but not exceeding 18000 GRT
280.85 + 0.0249 per GRT over
12000 GRT
3900.00 + 35 paise per GRT
over exceeding 12000
(h)
Over 18000 GRT
430.25 + 0.0499 per GRT over
18000 GRT
6000.00 + 70 paise per GRT
over 18000 GRT
Water Charges
Rs. 158.00 per tone
Note:- Wharfage charges
are levied depending on the type of cargo.
Contact Phone Number 091-03192-232882
AUTHORITIES
a) THE
CHIEF PORT ADMINISTRATOR,A
& N ISLANDS.PORT
BLAIR – 744101.FAX :
03192 – 233675TLX :
0618 – 218
PORT IN

TEL :
233679 (Office)

b) HARBOUR
MASTER/DEPUTY CONSERVATOR OF PORTS/ SHIPPING MASTERTEL : 091-03192-232834 (Office)
FOR HARBOUR FACILITIES/
SERVICES.
c)
ASSISTANT HARBOUR MASTER TEL: 091-03192-233676
d)
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMSTELEFAX : 091-03192-221698
FOR CUSTOMS FORMALITIES.
e) DEPUTY
SUPDT. OF POLICE (CID)TEL : 091-03192-233307FAX : 091-03192-230262
FOR IMMIGRATION FORMALITIES.
f)
PORT HEALTH OFFICERTEL : 091-03192-232797 (Office)
FOR HEALTH FORMALITIES &MEDICAL
FACILITIES.
g)
ENGINEER AND SURVEYOR -IN-
CHARGE MERCANTILE MARINE DEPARTMENT, FAX : 091-03192-234830TEL : 091-03192-232530 (OFF)
FOR SURVEY REQUIREMENTS AND TECHNICAL
ADVICES.
h) Manager
(PS&O) TEL 091-03192-237809 (O)
For communication
i) Manager (Cargo operation)TEL 091-03192-232882 (O) For Cargo
j) Port
Control Tower (Chatham) TEL 091-03192-233674
k) Port
Communication Centre (Atlanta)TEL 091-03192-233683
FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Name Address Phone Timing
Island Travels
Private Ltd.
Aberdeen Bazar 233358, 233034Fax- 233051, 230896, 230109e-mail : islandtravels@yahoo.com 10.30 am to 12.30pm3.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Automatic Teller Machine(ATM)
A & N
Islands State Co-operative Bank,

Near Light House
Cinema,

Port Blair

State Bank
of India

  • SBI , Main Branch,
    Aberdeen Bazaar
  • Near CCS, Aberdeen
    Bazaar
  • DC Office
  • Near Petrol Pump
    , Junglighat
  • Dairy Farm Junction
  • Axis Bank , Main
    Branch, Middle Point
  • Near Hyundai Show
    Room , Aberdeen Bazaar
Canara Bank

  • Canara Bank , Main
    Branch
Syndicate
Bank

  • Syndicate Bank ,
    Main Branch

A BRIEF NOTE ON VULNERABLE TRIBAL GROUPS

Particularly
vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs) who have been identified in the Andaman
& Nicobar Islands. They are
i)
Great
Andamanese

of Strait Island
ii)

Onges
of
Little Andaman
iii)
Jarawas of South and Middle Andaman

(iv) Sentinelese
of Sentinel Islands.and
v)
Shompens of Great Nicobar

image3
(i)
The Great Andamanese :-They were once the largest
in population amongst the various tribes inhabiting the Andaman Islands.
Their estimated population in 1789 was 10,000. By 1901, their number
had decreased to 625 and by 1969 their number had reduced to 19 only.
According to the Census of 1971, only 24 of them were around, but by
1999, their number had increased to 41. The Administration is doing
its best to protect and preserve this tribe. These tribals have been
rehabilitated in a small island named Strait Island. The Great Andamanese
were foragers. Today, they eat rice, dal, chapati and other modern food
items. They can cook food using spices. At times they still go hunting
and gathering. Their traditional diet consists of fish, dugong, turtle,
turtle eggs, crabs, roots and tubers. They also eat pork, Andaman water
monitor lizard etc. As coastal people, they relish octopus, molluses
taken out from shell of marine animals like turban shell, scorpion shell,
sundial, helmet, trochus and screw shell besides various types of crabs
and fish. Lately some of them have taken to cultivating vegetables and
have also established poultry farms. They are vulnerable to communicable
diseases besides unhealthy drinking habits, acquired after contact with
the non-tribal, urban, dominant and advanced communities.

image4
ii) ONGE
:-
Onges are one of the most primitive
tribes in India. They belong to the Negrito racial stock and they have
been relegated to the reservation at Dugong Creek in Little Andaman
Island. They are a semi-nomadic tribe and fully dependent on the food
pro vided by nature. They have now experienced the impact of outsiders,
as efforts at befriending them have proved successful. They have been
provided with pucca houses, food, clothes, medicine etc. by the Administration.
They eat turtle, fish, roots and jack fruits etc. They have developed
artistry and crafts. The Onges can make canoes. A primary school has
also been functioning at the Dugong Creek settlement of Onges. The population
of this tribe is stable and is at present 94.
image5
iii) JARAWAS
:
The Jarawa tribes with an estimated
population of 341 inhabit the Western coasts of South & Middle Andaman
islands.
They are leading their normal life of hunting and gathering. The Ministry
of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, in consultation with the Ministry of
Tribal Affairs and A & N Administration had finalized a policy on
the Jarawa Tribe of Andaman Island, on the basis of the recommendations
of the experts in various fields. The policy was notified in December,
2004 and is being implemented strictly to ensure protection and welfare
of Jarawas.
In order to ensure a rich
resource of forest based traditional food like wild pig, turtle, honey
and fish etc, the Jarawa reserve area has been increased from 847 to
1028 Sq. kms. Exclusive marine resource base has also been increased
by declaring coastal water upto 5 km from High Tide Line as tribal reserve.
Exclusive Wards at Primary Health Centre, Tushnabad, Kadamtala and G.B.
Pant Hospital, Port Blair for Jarawas have been provided and such Wards
are declared as tribal reserves to prevent curious non-tribals from
interacting with them. The Jarawa patients are being treated at these
Centres. A buffer zone of 5 km radius has been notified around the Jarawa
reserve, to ensure that they do not become unwitting targets of large
scale tourism or commercial activities
.

image6
(iv) SENTENELESE
:-
The Sentinelese are the inhabitants
of North Sentinel Island. The area is about 60 Sq. Kilometers. They
are probably the world’s only Paleolithic people surviving today without
contact with any other group or community. They are considered as an
off-shoot to the Onge Jarawa tribes which have acquired a different
identity due to their habitation in an isolated and have lost contact
with the main tribes. The Sentinelese are very hostile and never leave
their Island. Very little is known about these hostile tribes.
image7
(v)
SHOMPENS
:
The habitation of Shompens
is the Great Nicobar which is the largest among the Nicobar Group of
Islands. Like the Nicobarese, they belong to the Mongoloid race. The
Shompens have two divisions, the smaller division being known as Mawa
Shompens. They inhabit areas very close to the coastal region along
the river valleys. They are very shy. They are quite intimate with the
Nicobarese. The major group of shompens are the hostile Shompens living
in Alexendra and Galathia river areas and also on the east coast of
the area in the interior of the island. In the past, frequent attacks
are believed to have been made on the Mawa Shompens by the hostile Shompens.
But now such hostility has stopped. It is probably because they have
been largely reduced in number due to various diseases. The Shompens
are the victims of disease, and physically very weak. With the establishment
of the settlement at Campbell Bay in Great Nicobar, Shompens have been
visiting the settlers and they are gradually shaking off their shyness
and indifferent attitude towards the civilized people.
Andaman Wood Pigeon
–State Bird

Andaman Wood Pigeon
is an endemic bird, which is found only in Andaman and Nicobar group
of islands. This bird is of the size of a domestic pigeon with longer
tail. This bird has whitish head with checkerboard pattern on neck.
The upper parts are dark slate grey in colour and underparts are pale
blue grey Metallic green sheen on upper side and reddish bill
with yellowish tip and purplish red orbital skin are identification
characters. The bird lives in dense broadleaved evergreen forest.


image8

Dugong
–State Animal

Dugong, an endangered
marine mammal, also known as Sea Cow, is only strictly marine mammal,
which is herbivorous. It mainly feeds on sea-grass and other aquatic
vegetation. Dugong is distributed in shallow tropical waters in Indo-Pacific
Region. The animal is about three-metre length and weighs about 400
kg. In India Dugong is reported from Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar,
Palk Bay and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Within A&N Islands
Dugong has been reported from Ritchie”s Archipelago, North Reef, Little
Andaman and parts of Nicobars.


image9

Andaman Padauk
–State Tree

Andaman Padauk is a
tall deciduous tree found only in Andaman.
It grows upto height of 120
feet. The timber is highly prized for making furniture. Burr and Buttress
formation add charm to the tree and used in making unique furniture.


image10

These Islands are blessed with a unique’ luxuriant evergreen tropical rainforest
canopy, sheltering a mixed germ plasm bank, comprising of Indian, Myanmarese,
Malaysian and endemic floral strain. So far, about 2200,varieties
of plants have been recorded out of which 200 are endemic and 1300 do
not occur in mainland India.

image11
“The South Andaman forests have a profuse growth of epiphytic vegetation,
mostly ferns and orchids. The Middle Andamans harbours mostly
moist deciduous forests. North Andamans is characterised by the
wet evergreen type, with plenty of woody climbers. The north Nicobar
Islands (including Car Nicobar and Battimalv) are marked by the complete
absence of evergreen forests, while such forests form the dominant vegetation
in the central and southern islands of the Nicobar group. Grasslands
occur only in the Nicobars, and while deciduous forests are common in
the Andamans, they are almost absent in the Nicobars”. This atypical
forest coverage is made-up of twelve types namely

(1) Giant evergreen
forest (2) Andamans tropical evergreen forest (3) Southern hilltop tropical
evergreen forest (4) Cane brakes (5) Wet bamboo brakes (6) Andamans
semi-evergreen forest (7) Andamans moist deciduous forest (8) Andamans
secondary moist deciduous forest (9) Littoral forest (10) Mangrove forest
(11) Brackish water mixed forest (12) Submontane hill valley swamp forest.
The present forest coverage is claimed to be 86.2% of the total land
area.

TIMBER
image12

Andaman Forest
is abound in plethora of timber species numbering 200 or more, out of
which about 30 varieties are considered to be commercial. Major commercial
timber species are Gurjan (Dipterocarpus spp.) and Padauk (Pterocarpus
dalbergioides). Ornamental wood such as (1) Marble Wood (Diospyros marmorata)
(2) Padauk (Pterocarpus dalbergioides), (3) Silver Grey (a special formation
of wood in white chuglam) (4) Chooi (Sageraea elliptical and (5) Kokko
(Albizzia lebbeck) are noted for their pronounced grain formation. Padauk
being steadier than teak is widely used for furniture making.

Burr and the
Buttress formation in Andaman Padauk are World famous for their exceptionally
unique charm and figuring. Largest piece of Buttress known from
Andaman was a dining table of 13′x 7′. The largest piece of Burr
was again a dining table to seat eight persons at a time. The holy Rudraksha
(Elaeocarps sphaericus) and aromatic Dhoop/Resin trees also occur here.

FAUNA


image13

This tropical
rain forest despite its isolation from adjacent land masses is surprisingly
enriched with many animals.

MAMMALS
About 50 varieties of forest mammals are found to occur in A&N Islands,
most of them are understood to be brought in from outside and are now
considered endemic due to their prolonged insular adaptation. Rat is
the largest group having 26 species followed by 14 species of bat. Among
the larger mammals there are two endemic varieties of wild pig namely
Sus Scrofa andamanensis from Andaman and S.S.nicobaricus from Nicobar.
The spotted deer Axis axis, Barking deer and Sambar are found in Andaman
District. Interview island in Middle Andaman holds a fairly good stock
of feral elephants. These elephants were brought in for forest work
by a private contractor who subsequently left them loose.

Butterflies
and Moths

With about 225 species, the A&N Islands house some of the larger
and most spectacular butterflies of the world. Ten species are
endemic to these Islands. Mount Harriet National Park is one of
the richest areas of butterfly and moth diversity on these Islands.

image14

Shells


image15Shells
are perhaps the most colourful and fascinating objects known to man
other than Gems since time immemorial. They served as money, ornaments,
musical instruments, drinking cups, in magic and in the making of fine
porcelains. They were also the symbols in rituals and religious observances,
and the returning pilgrims wore them as a token of divine pardon.

These islands
are traditionally known for their shell wealth specially Turbo,Trochus,
Murex and
image16Nautilus.
Earliest recorded commercial exploitation began during 1929. Shells
are important to these islands because some like Turbo, Trochus &
Nautilus etc. are being used as novelties supporting many cottage industries
producing a wide range of decorative items & ornaments. Shells such
as Giant clam, Green mussel and Oyster support edible shellfishery,
a few like Scallop, Clam and Cockle are burnt in kiln to produce edible
lime.
image17

The Univalve
or one shell group belongs to the class Gastropoda having more than
80,000 species. Sacred Chank belongs to this group. Their body, in the
course of development, go through a complicated process, ‘torsion’ i.e.
the visceral mass is twisted though 90 degree together with the shell
that covers it. Under mysterious circumstances many a time this
process proceeds in the reverse direction thus creating an abnormal
shell which otherwise lives like a normal shell. A classic example
is the most wanted left-handed chank.

The Bivalve
or Pelecypoda has about 20,000 living species. Majority of then burrows
in sand or mud such as Pearl Oyster, Wing oyster, Giant clam etc.

A third group,
which is comparatively smaller, is called Cephalopoda, which includes
Octopus, Squid, Nautilus etc.


image18The
soft body animal, which lives inside the shell, is covered with a thick
layer of specialised epithelium cells known as rnantle, which in turn
secretes a two tier shell material making the shell. The outer layer
having a different colour pattern is organic in constitution, technically
called ‘periostracum’. Calcium ions from the environment are absorbed
into the blood and deposited evenly under this layer. The next inner
layer is called ‘nacre’ or ‘mother of pearl’ responsible for the pearly
lustre common to many shells

CORALS


image19Corals
belong to a large group of animals known as Coelenterata
(stinging animals) or Cnidaria
(thread animals). Corals grow slow, they have type wise site specific
growth rates. The massive forms may grow upto 2 cm. in diameter and
upto 1 cm in height a year, whereas, delicate branching forms grow between
5 to 10 cm. per annum.
image20A
true reef building stony coral may be unisexual or bisexual. They
breed together once in a year at a pre-determined time after dusk.
This process, at places is so intense that the water stays pinkish till
next morning. A large number of baby corals are released in the
open ocean this way. After sometime these baby corals settle over
a suitable substratum and start forming new colonies through asexual
reproduction. Their morphological features change with the environment
in which they settle. Due to this peculiar character they are often
called ‘Plastic animals’.


image21Stony
corals could be broadly divided into reef builders and non-reef builders,
the reef builders are called hermatypic
whereas others are known as ahermatypic corals. The reef builders
possess hard calcareous skeleton and need sunlight like plants to survive.
On the other hand, the non-reef builders are devoid of a true stony
framework and can live well without sunlight. A few among them are capable
of making protein based solidified skeleton.

FISHES


image22Each
life form in the sea is confined to its own particular zone, where pressure,
light, temperature and salinity are more or less constant. In
this stable environment some creatures have remained unchanged throughout
their entire history. The now famous Coelacanth,
one of the groups of fishes thought to have been extinct for 60 million
years, has remained essentially like its relatives as they appear in
fossils. Fishes are the masters of water world. For more
than 360 million years they have inhabited it. image23 Today we have about 40,000 varieties of
fishes known to science. They range in size from 10 mm (Philippine
Gobie) to 21m. (whale shark). Some are flattened, others inflated,
many spindle shaped, a few snakelike, still others are compressed depending
on the environment in which they live or particular way of life.

MARINE
AQUARIUM

image24
Marine fish and animal keeping still has a certain mystique attached to it. This is one of the most complicated aspects of live stock management.
image25
The animal husbandry involved in it is mainly nurtured through water
chemistry and microbiology. The tropical coral reef inhabitants are
generally maintained in glass boxes known to us as marine aquariums.
These animals turn ‘fragile’ under captive atmosphere because the natural system to which they belong is so heterogeneous, complex and dynamic with every tide bringing in a different condition
that is so difficult to create artificially. However, since May l853
when the first tropical marine aquarium was made public in London, much has been understood and we are now able to practice a system where these animals are acclimatized and taught to be happy in their new environs.

Source -
National Informatics Centre, Port Blair.