Untitled by jasonzcrazy
Located in the Arabian Sea, it consists of twelve coral atolls, three coral reefs, five banks, and numerous islets that lie between 200–300 km off the coast of Kerala. The total land area of the territory is 32 km². Eleven of the islands are inhabited.The Lakshadweep atolls lie about 200 km offshore from the west coast of India.Bitra is the northernmost atoll and also has the smallest inhabited island in India on it. Minicoy atoll is the southernmost, separated from the rest by the 9º channels.
Biodiversity is relatively quite high in the Lakshadweep atolls. The current record for the Scleractinian corals is 104 species under 40 genera, which in all probability is a lower estimate, since collections were restricted so far only to shallow waters and few islands. Several other groups, however, have been well studied. For example, 603 species of fishes are known from the Lakshadweep reefs.
Noteworthy associated ecosystem is the sea grass bed in the lagoons of several atolls. Minicoy island has a small patch of mangroves at the southern end.
The islanders are seafarers and fishermen. The skipjack Katsuwonus pelamis is the tuna caught in abundance and marketed commercially. Fishing in the lagoons is mainly for sustenance. Tourism is a developing activity but carefully regulated so as not to exceed the carrying capacity of the islands.over 6 years ago