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Decline of fish diversity in the anthropogenically polluted Thane creek along the Central West Coast of India

Author Affiliations

  • 1B.N. Bandodkar College of Science, Chendani, Thane 400601, Maharashtra, INDIA
  • 2álim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Anaikatti Post, Coimbatore 641108, Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 1, Issue (4), Pages 17-21, August,10 (2012)

Abstract

The fish diversity and associated environment of 12 strategically selected intertidal stations along the extremely polluted Thane creek on the west coast of India were studied for a year and compared with past available data to investigate changes in the creek ecology due to various anthropogenic activities like industrial, domestic, and solid waste disposal along with land reclamation. Hydro-sedimentological investigations revealed enhancement of total nitrogen (TN) and organic carbon (Corg) load and hypoxic levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) over the years. Silt component of sediment was increasing, with proportionate decrease in clay due to various anthropogenic disturbances. 12 species of fish were recorded along the entire length of the creek with dominance of only 5 species that occurred throughout the year, namely Mugil cephalus, Mystus gulio, Mystus shingala, Tilapia mossambica and Scylla serrata where as the other fishes were rare in their occurrence. A comparison with the past literature for the study area revealed decline in the fish diversity. As per the energy transfer theory, it was observed that the benthos in the study area can support an average fishery yield of at least 256937.2 kg/year (i.e. 21411.433 kg/month). This however is not fully utilized because the fishes were found to feed mostly on phytoplankton and the locals also reported very poor fishery catch in the creek.

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