Marine Programme | WWF India

India has 936 species of marine algae, 2000 species of molluscs, 388 species of sea slugs, 38 species of lobsters and 120 species of hermit crabs. We have 15000 species of sponges and 627 species of hard corals. The oceans around us are home to a total of 2618 species of fish species from coastal and marine ecosystems. Lakshadweep Island alone has recorded more than 603 species (Jones and Kumaran 1980) while 1000 species have been reported from Andaman & Nicobar Islands. A total of 55 species of commercial shrimps and prawns have been recorded in India, the east coast of India contributes to 24.5% and west coast contributes to 75.3% to the country’s production as wild caught.

Five species of sea turtles have been reported from Indian waters. Of these, leatherbacks have been recorded to travel over 4000Km from a recent telemetry study to nest on Great Nicobar Islands. Besides, India has one of the largest mass nesting beaches of olive ridleys in Odisha. Indian seas support 25 different species of marine mammals, the majority of these are oceanic forms and have frequent incidences of stranding on shores. All marine mammal species are protected by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Currently, India contributes to 7.33% of global marine biodiversity, however, there is a potential for further exploration and taxonomic studies may reveal more new species.

The marine biodiversity in the country, has been recognised as an essential source of ecological values and economic services that has led to indiscriminate exploitation of its resources, threatening several species to the point of extinction and irreversible habitat degradation. In addition, anthropogenic activities, like, destructive fishing practices, shipping, coastal developments, discharge of untreated effluents from industries has further deteriorated coastal and marine biodiversity.

India’s marine environment is under threat from several large and complex threats such as seabed mining, overfishing, illegal fishing, unsustainable aquaculture and pollution. In addition, unregulated or poorly regulated habitats have been degraded by infrastructure development and unscientific tourism planning.


WORK AREAS

WWF-India’s marine programme has been over the past few years been working over a range of issues such as fishery management, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, habitat degradation, illegal wildlife trade, unsustainable tourism and plastic pollution among others. The programme has witnessed significant growth, both in areas of work and the strength of the team. We have been able to launch new projects on marine debris and threatened species, undertake habitat monitoring surveys and initiate policy interventions on issues such as unsustainable tourism development and harmful fishing subsidies.

To develop a structured approach to marine conservation we identified the following thematic areas for our work:

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OUR PARTNERS

Our marine team

WWF-INDIA MARINE TEAM

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SEJAL

Programme Director

SEJAL

Programme Director, WWF-India

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VINOD

Team Lead

VINOD

With over 25 years of experience in the marine field, Vinod has been instrumental in driving the adoption of sustainable fishing practises and developing coastal developmental policies in the country and currently leads the Oceans & Coasts programme.

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EMA

Coordinator

EMA

Ema leads our shark conservation project in India And acts as coordinator for the programme. Ema also has several years of experience with sea turtle conservation in India. She enjoys long runs and camping in the mountains.

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FARIDA

Coordinator

FARIDA

Coordinator, Marine Programme

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MICHAEL

Senior Programme Coordinator

MICHAEL

Michael looks after marine related projects in Odisha and actively interacts with communities to sensitize them on wildlife conservation. He is also involved in conservation of marine turtles and dolphins and takes an avid interest in wildlife photography.

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CORALIE

Programme Coordinator

CORALIE

Coralie currently manages WWF-India’s Marine Program office in Goa and works on cetaceans, turtles, marine and coastal tourism, coastal communities, fisheries, global fish nutrition and food security, fisheries subsidies, and marine policy.

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SUMER

Programme Officer

SUMER

Sumer is a marine biologist who tackles issues related to the management of ghost gear and Marine Protected Areas. He is a dive professional and once worked with a dive school in the South Andaman Islands. Sumer is a passionate birder who also enjoys an occasional game of squash.

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ABHISHEK

Programme Officer

ABHISHEK

Abhishek works across India's west coast, on projects such as cetacean monitoring, marine tourism, and biodiversity outreach. He enjoys involving communities in marine science, and never says no to seashore walks, chats with fishers, and long trips on fishing boats.

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SARVANAN

Coordinator

SARVANAN

Coordinator, Marine Programme

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PRAVIN

Programme Officer

PRAVIN

Passionate about protecting the coast and oceans so that everyone can enjoy its beauty Pravin works on our Fish forward project to ensure the sustainability of seafood exported from India.

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DHAVAL

Programme Officer

DHAVAL

Dhaval works to conserve sharks in Gujarat and has completed his Masters in Fisheries Science from Junagdh Agricultural University. Being from the community he is passionate about fishing and enjoys spending time onboard during fishing trips.

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TABITHA

Communications Officer

TABITHA

Tabitha addresses communications needs of the marine programme. She worked in several industries before zeroing in on conservation and enjoys doodling and attempting to keep plants alive.

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SAMYUKTHA

Programme Officer

SAMYUKTHA

Samyuktha works with fishing communities along the Odisha coast to address bycatch mortality among sea turtles. She believes that research and conservation form a solid and unshakeable foundation for a living planet and loves long chats and is a passionate writer.

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SNEHA

Programme Officer

SNEHA

Sneha helps us tackle the impacts of ghost gear on marine turtles in Andhra Pradesh. she is super passionate about marine mammals and is also an excellent scuba diver and once spent four months on the Andaman Islands, researching about fish commoditization.