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Ecological Survey around the Churna Island
Charna Island is a small island located in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is situated northwest of a fishing settlement Mubarak Village. Mubarak Village (Mubarak Goth), is located some 60 km from Karachi on Hawks Bay-Mubarak Goth Road. It is famous for the marine life around it, which includes barracuda, Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, cobia, Dorado, Tuna, angel fish, sea urchin, sea fan, oyster, ray fish and rare green turtle.
The Churna Island (24 53.48N 66 36.16E) has a small coral reef and is ecologically significant and supports a rich biodiversity. The island is triangular and the dimensions are 1.5 x 1.5 x 0.8 kilometers. The protected site of the island is also a site for recreational diving and angling. Earlier studies (Kazmi & Karmi 1988) reported small patches of living coral colonies around the Churna Island, but no detailed studies are recorded. The Churna Island is one of the five site proposed as the Marine and Coastal Protected Areas on the Pakistan coast during the Regional Resources Coordination and Mobilization Workshop (2006).
NIO recently conducted a geo-referenced dive survey (Manta Tow and Transect-Quadrate method) covering the entire area around the Churna Island under the 6600 MW Power Park at Gadani Balochistan EIA (Marine Ecology) project. The survey will form a detailed baseline of the coral, surrounding ecosystem.
Detailed analysis is underway to form scientific publications and future collaborative research initiatives.
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