5 December 2020.
In a joint operation of the forest vigilance squad of Assam and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, a huge seizure of marine life has been made in Assam. Around 400 sea fans which is a type of soft coral, have been seized. This trade has inter-state ramifications, coming from Mumbai and Goa through Hubballi.
What is the concern?
- Corals are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
- Its possession or sale invites the strictest punishment under the Wildlife Act.
- The sea fans are invertebrate organisms that grown in a fan like pattern and are found in shallow waters.
About Sea Fans:
- Sea fans are sold as a “lucky charm”.
- The coral, locally called ‘Indra Jala’, is in great demand and fetches good price in the market as people hang them on walls for luck,
- Sea Fan is an Anthozoan.
- Anthozoan means flowering animals.
- There are only 212 species of Anthozoans .
- The Anthozoan species are threatened to extinction according to IUCN.
- The Sea fans belong to the Gorgonian class of soft coral colonies.
- Their inner skeleton consists of scleroprotein called Gorgonin and hence they belong to the class of Gorgonians.
- Sea Fans are usually found in Bermuda, Florida and West Indies. They are present in shallow waters of all oceans.