The Gulf of Kutch is an inlet that forms part of the Arabian Sea that is bordered by state of Gujarat, along the West Coast of India. The Gulf divides Kutch and the Kathiawar peninsula regions of Gujarat. The Rukmavati River flows into the Arabian Sea nearby and the Gulf of Khambhat lies to the south and the Great Rann of Kutch is located to the north of the gulf.
The Gulf is about 99 miles in length, and its maximum depth is 402 feet. The region is known for its extreme daily tides and its high potential for tidal energy generation.
The Marine National Park is located in the Gulf of Kutch off the shores of the Devbhumi Dwarka District, from Okha to Jodiya in Gujarat. The Park covers an area of 270 square kilometres. There are 42 islands off the coast in the Marine National Park, most of which are surrounded by reefs and sandy beaches. The best known of these islands is called Pirotan. There are known to be around 31 species of corals in the Park as well as 70 species of sponges, numerous varieties of Prawns, Crabs and Molluscs, at least three types of Sea Mammal, nearly 100 species of water birds and endangered Sea Turtles like the Olive Ridley, Green Sea and Leather Back.
The ecosystem of the Marine National Park is fragile, and is under threat on several fronts from the extraction of corals and sands by cement industries, chemical industries, the increased turbidity of the water, oil refineries, and mechanised fishing boats. Localised catastrophic bleaching of the corals has also occurred on more than one occasion.