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Lagoon

Valaichchenai Lagoon

  Province Eastern
  District Batticaloa
  Nearest Town Valaichchenai
  Primary inflows number of small rivers
  Primary outflows Indian Ocean
  Surface area 25.9 square kilometers
  Max. depth 2 meters

Introduction

Valaichchenai lagoon located immediately north of the bay are extensive coral stands within the reef lagoon although most corals are dead, possibly due to coral bleaching. The shallow sections towards the western end of the bay contain large areas of dead coral and algae. Distinct Porites micro atolls that are subject to periodic exposure at low tide are found in the shallow areas of the reef lagoon. The outer reef slope contains the most prolific coral growth dominated by branching and tabulates Acropora, Echinopora lamellosa, Montipora spp. and massive corals. The live coral cover in the shallow sections of the reef lagoon has been recorded to be around 15% although the coral cover on the reef slope is expected to be much higher. The reef fish community is dominated by damselfishes (Pomacentridae), surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae), parrotfishes (Scaridae) and wrasses (Labridae). Thaere are extensive mangroves and marshes, elephant point is fringed with mudfats marshes, mangroves and has offshore coral reef and a large tidal lagoon. Thenadi bay sandy shores with offshare reefs and a coral debris island supporting a large breeding colony of sea birds, prwan fishing is important, threats. The reef provides protection from rough seas and mitigates coastal erosion along the coastline. This fact is highlighted by the coastal erosion where coral mining has taken place.