MARINE BIODIVERSITY REGISTER (MBR)

The underwater ecology of the inshore areas (440 sq km) of a stretch of 20 km sea coast from Valiathura to Puthukurichy, Thiruvananthapuram was documented in MBR. The MBR initiated by KSBB is a pioneering work to document the traditional knowledge systems of local fishermen. It is a record of the demersal species, ecologically important reefs and rocky areas, traditional knowledge on navigation, bottom configuration of the seabed, shore line changes, and provided indicators to overfishing and marine resource depletion. The traditional way of navigation in sea using a visual triangulation method (kanicham) to identify location of naturally occurring reefs has been illustrated. MBR is a pictorial guide to the diversity of marine resources as sponges, corals, jelly fish, molluscs, crabs, star fish, rare fishes, sea birds, sea snakes, soft corals etc. The register is expected to develop strategies for ecosystem based approaches for sustainable management of marine natural resources with community participation and will play an important role in generating awareness of conserving natural resources sustainably.

A significant outcome of this study is recording of nine new species from Kerala coasts for the first time.

1) Sirembo jerdoni (Day, 1888)

Brown-banded cusk-eel

Order: Ophidiiformes (Cusk eels)

Family: Ophidiidae (Cusk-eels)

A benthic species found on the continental shelf. This is the first record of this   specimen from southwest coast of India.

2) Sand crab (Albunea systemma)

First report from India

3) Rediscovery of Indian ringed skate Okamejei powelli (Alcock, 1898)

Order:  Rajiformes (Skates and rays)

Family: Rajidae (Skates)

Very rare, small, poorly known demersal skate. First report from India
4) Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw, 1795)

Order: Anguilliformes (Eels and morays)

Family: Muraenidae (Moray eels)

Common name: Turkey moray

First report from Kerala

5) Heteromycteris oculus  (Alcock, 1889)

Common name: Eyed sole

Order: Pleuronectiformes (Flatfishes)

Family: Soleidae (Soles)

First record from Kerala coast; probably the first record from west coast of India

6) Hoplolatilus fronticinctus(Günther, 1887)

Order:  Perciformes

Family: Malacanthidae (Tilefishes)

Common name: Pastel tilefish

First report from Kerala

7) Identification process for three species probably of the family Aulostomidae, Engarulidae, Zebrias sp is underway.

Publications