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From the preface:
"With lndia being a party to the CBD, the importance of accounting for the marine diversity of India is a priority. Biological diversity is defined as “variability among Iiving organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic
systems and ecological complexes of which they are a part, this includes diversity within species, between species and of communities” (Norse et al. 1986). Though only 15 percent of the recorded species inhabit the sea, 32 out of 33 phyla are in the sea. Around 20,000 species of fishes are known to inhabit different trrophic levels in the sea and the presence of certain species like corals provide ecological niches for several other fishes. All major coral reef areas in lnclia, including the Gulf of Mannar, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Gulf of Kutch experience anthropogenic pressure. Except for some of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, no pristine coral reefs exist today in lndia. Resources are being exploited at a rapid rate from all
our reefs; export of fishes is going on a rapid scale, sometimes clandestinely. Moreover reef-associated organisms have to be correctly identified to be accounted.
The Field Guide on the Reef Associated Fishes of India is a step towards easy and quick identification of fish. The fishes described here were collected during the many visits to the many small and big harbours all along the southern coastline of India. Besides, underwater surveys were conducted both at Lakshadweep and Andaman islands. Identification was done using standard textbooks and later confirmed with experts. The photos of fishes provided in this book were made by the team under the
project ”Bioinventorisation of coral fishes of South India with special reference to threats and conservation measures” funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests during 2009-13. Over 372 fishes in 66 families have been recorded in this work."