Karwar may soon become second scuba diving destination of state

Source: ENS | By Muhaimin Sada | Published on 1st May 2017, 1:45 AM | Coastal News | Special Report |

Karwar (ENS) : Encouraged by the success of scuba diving in Netrani Islands near Murdeshwar, the Uttara Kannada district administration is mulling over opening yet another island for diving activities. The Devgad Islands, where the famous light house is located, will be the newest diving destination of Karnataka.

Expert divers from the Profession Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) have already taken up diving surveys at the island and the team is expected to submit a report to the administration soon. The Devgad island is located about five-km from Karwar and can be seen from the Ravindranath Tagore beach.

The initial survey reports suggests that the island is rich in coral biodiveristy and fish fauna. Varieties of coral, different types of colourful fishes, shrimps and underwater sea plants have been video documented by the PADI team. Devgad island is one of the Oyster Rocks structures that are found near Karwar coast. There is a light house on the main summit at Devgad Hills, which has a thick green forest cover. There is thick forest growth on this hill top and Karwar Port Department has a guest house on it.

“In a bid to make Karwar one of the best tourist destinations, the administration has developed the Ravindranath Tagore beach by providing all basic amenities and introducing water sports, parasailing, power parasailing, beach motorcycle and many more. Now it is time to take tourists under the sea to show them the coral world,” said a senior official from the district administration.

Keith Fernandes, instructor of West Coast Adventures, said the survey was conducted at the island to see the feasibility of holding scuba diving activities. “We have shot a few viodes underwater.

The team will be making few more dives before the report is completed. Last week during the dive, the visibility was poor due to heavy wind. It’s also important that the water must be clear for diving activities. The initial impression about the Devgad island is that the coral beds here are better than those near Goa. The fish fauna is richer in Netrani island, but Devgad has the potential to become the future diving site,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner S S Nakul said there are plans to develop the district as tourist hub of the country. “We are giving importance to water activities as Uttara Kannada is home of unexplored shores. We believe that there is good amount of corals near Devgad Island. If the survey report is positive, we will introduce scuba diving in Karwar on the lines of Netrani in Murudeshwar,” he said.

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