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EFFECT OF POLLUTION ON MUDSKIPPER FISHERY OF ULHAS RIVER ESTUARY WITH A SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE BIOLOGY OF BOLEOPTHALMUS DUSSUMIERI (CUV.

& VAL.)

A MINOR PROJECT IN BIOLOGICAL STUDIES

Report Submitted on July 2005

MR. S. D. RATHOD
Lecturer B. N. BANDODKAR COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, CHENDANI, THANE (W)-400 601.

Sanctioned by

University of Mumbai Fort, Mumbai- 400 032.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The author sincerely thank the University of Mumbai for accepting the proposal and sanctioning the amount of Rs. 15000/- for this project. He also records his gratitude to the Principal of B. N. Bandodkar college of Science, Thane, Dr. (Mrs.) Madhuri Pejaver for allowing him to use the infrastructure for conducting the laboratory work at the Zoology Department, using the library and computer facilities and for the administrative assistance. He is indebted to Dr. (Mrs.) N. N. Patil, Dr. R. P. Athalye, Dr.(Mrs.) M. U. Borkar, Mr. Hemant

Karkhanis, Mr. Amol Patwardhan, Dr. V. V. Bedekar, for extending their hands generously during the project period. He also expresses his gratefulness especially to his colleagues, fishermen community, the non-teaching staff and research students Mr. Sameer and Mr. Adesh from Advance Study Centre of the B. N. Bandodkar college of Science without their help project wouldnt have been a success. Author also acknowledges with thanks to everyone who was involved in the project work, directly or indirectly.

Mr. Sudesh D. Rathod

PREFACE
The coastal inward waters such as creeks, estuaries, lagoons and other wetlands are the productive and diverse waterbodies. India has a long coastline of 8118 km and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 million km 2. Recent estimates of the total area of wetlands without mangroves in India include the brackish water suitable for fish culture 2,000,000 ha, Estuaries 3,900,000 ha and Back waters of 3,540,000 ha. Ramsar convention bureau has declared about 19 important wetlands, covering 648,507 hectares, in the country. These extremely interesting sites range geographically all over the country, from three sites in Kerala in the southwest and another in Tamil Nadu in the southeast to another at 4,595m (15,075 feet) altitude in the Himalaya. They include coastal estuaries, dammed reservoirs, and lots of mangroves. The coastal zone of the country is rich in natural resources. They are influenced greatly by human activities. Much of this wealth is often exploited in an unprecedented manner, resulting in rapid degradation of the environments which in turn deplete the natural resources. The seasonal variations in the water quality as well as the biological component of these systems are influenced heavily by anthropogenic stress exerted by the developmental activities carried out along the coastal waters. Estuaries are one of the most productive zones on our planet with the gross primary productivity amounting to approximately 10 K cal/m 2/yr of organic matter and also the most heavily utilized area. An estuary is a very dynamic and fragile ecosystem with unique physico-chemical and biological features. Since it is influenced largely by tidal cycle and the seasonal influx of land run off, it behaves variedly during the months or the seasons. Being transitional the estuary establishes the link between land, freshwater and seawater rendering edge-effect and hence harbours the diverse fauna and flora. Several species complete their entire life cycle within the brackishwater of estuaries. Some coastal species find estuaries as very essential at least for a part of their life cycle. In addition, estuaries serve as critical reproductive and nursery grounds for a wide variety of fishes and important habitats for numerous benthic and

planktonic organisms. They also serve as migratory routes for the anadromous species or for the catadromous species. The substratum of an estuary is always covered with silt and mud which is the most common type of bottom where the organic detritus is rich in floral and faunal populations. Heterotrophic microorganisms are a major component of estuarine ecosystems and are predominant in the estuarine sediments. Some terrestrial species find their refuge in the premises. Therefore it is comprised of a typical food chain amongst aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Various endemic finfish and shellfish species comprise the important fisheries. Most of these species are seasonal visitors, visiting the estuaries, for breeding or feeding purpose hence the seasonal fisheries are observed predominantly. Fishermen community residing in the vicinity relies on the estuarine fisheries for their wellbeing. Hence it is very important to discuss about the estuarine ecosystems giving due consideration to pollution problems. Because of the convenience of sea transport, many major cities of the world are located on the shores of estuaries. The concentration of population and of industries on the banks has inevitably led to the discharge of the waste materials into the estuaries so that many have become seriously polluted water bodies. The other anthropogenic activities such as construction of bridges, dams, roads, railways, solid waste dumping, sand dredging, mining, tunneling, reclamation, mangrove cutting, agriculture etc. affect these aquatic environments greatly. Moreover, the enrichment of estuaries with organic and inorganic nutrients has contributed to the eutrophication problems in numerous estuarine systems. In many cases, domestic and municipal sewage wastes as well as nonpoint source run-off have been the principal sources of nutrients to estuaries. It causes acute and chronic pollution in estuarine and coastal marine environment leading to a severe threat to the inhabiting aquatic communities. Due to these activities the existence of rich biodiversity in the estuaries is under threat. Already many coastal inward waters have become either unproductive or unharvestable for a variety of finfish, shellfish and other marine living resources due to indiscriminate entry of domestic and industrial pollutants. The fishermen communities thus affected looking for other earning sources may lead to the local financial crisis.

Strict monitoring and corrective measures have to be undertaken to safeguard their existence. This needs urgently a thorough knowledge of the pollutants, their entry, source, nature of toxicity on biota, monitoring of the ecosystem, remedial measures, management, legislation etc. This project work discusses the status quo of pollution and problems and need for protection of Ulhas River estuary of Thane district situated in Maharashtra State.

Mr. Sudesh D. Rathod


Associate Professor Zoology Deptartment B. N. Bandodkar College of Science Thane, Maharashtra, India

CONTENTS

Chapter I

INTRODUCTION .... POLLUTION STATUS OF THE ... ULHAS RIVER ESTUARY AND SOME ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIES INVOLVED BIOLOGY of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) FISHERY of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) DISCUSSION

1-- 4

Chapter II

5--11

CHAPTER III

12---17

CHAPTER IV

18--19

CHAPTER V

20--23

CHAPTER VI

BIBLIOGRAPHY WEBSITES SITED & ABBREVIATION. 24--30

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION
The Ulhas River estuary is one of the inward waters characteristic in its environmental conditions due to the shallow depth, tidal currents, mangrove vegetation, salinity gradient, diurnal temperature variation etc. It is one of the important waterbody in Thane District. Ulhas River originates at Budhemal Lake near Rajmachi Fort, 8216.55 meters above the sea level, traverses through Sahyadrian ranges of hilly tracks of Western Ghats and meets the Arabian Sea at Vasai Fort in Thane District. The upper stretches of the Ulhas River is fed by fresh water from the Raigad and Thane districts. It receives a number of tributaries carrying runoff water from their respective catchment areas namely Pej, Chilar, Pashri, Kalu, Bhatsa, Murbadi, Varna and Kamwadi. It runs for about 122 kms. before joining the sea at Vasai. The estuarine part of the river commences from S-E near Kalyan Dombivli railway station headwards, meanders for about 40 km. before it joins the Arabian Sea towards N-E at Vasai creek situated between the latitude 180.45 to 190.16 N and longitude 720.42 to 730.20, E on the world map. The river is shallow having sandy basin since the land runoff carry huge sediments from its catchment area. There are number of industries situated along the either rivers banks, adding their effluents at various localities namely Ambivli, Ulhas Nagar, Dombivli, Bhiwandi and Thane City and loading the waterbody with pollutants heavily. There is a considerable load of the domestic waste water is also added to the estuary since the Thane city requires over 280 MLD (Lala,2004) of water which in-turn must be used variously and ultimately added to the Thane creek and Ulhas River estuary daily. Archeivala (1969) has observed that the heavy pollution at the upper reaches of the estuary has lost the spawning ground of the

Hilsa fishery. It has been observed that the fisheries of the estuary have been dwindling to the threatening status (Rathod et al., 2002). It is evident that the heavy pollution, due to industrial and domestic effluents, affects the aquatic organisms inhabiting the ambient water. Nath et al. (2003) observed the degeneration in the ovarian cells of Clarias batrachus due to the altered physicochemical parameters of the wetlands. Moreover mass kill of the fish occurs frequently in the coastal waters of Mumbai and Thane cities. The conditions observer at one instance will change at the other, as the estuaries are dynamic in nature. Therefore despite of earlier findings, reinvestigation of the hydrological conditions is essential. An effort has been made to ordained pollution status of the Ulhas River estuary and to determine the fate of mudskipper fishery, one of the major fisheries from the Ulhas River estuary on which the poor fishermen communities, residing in the vicinity, rely. The important fish species being Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) (See plate no1) of the mudskipper fishery has been considered for the study. It is one of the most relished and highly demanded fish in the local market. It is consumed in fresh condition. Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuvier & Valencienne, 1837) is the amphibious estuarine fish found flourishing in the mudflats of the of Ulhas River estuary. It is a benthic and burrowing type of fish inhabiting on the neretic mudflats of the Ulhas River estuary. They construct the burrows in the mud and feed on the mudflats. Although they often come out of water they restrict themselves close to the water for breathing and other activities. Therefore their burrows are always constructed in the limits of intertidal zone (Mutsaddi, 1964; Chung et al. 1991; Clayton, 1993).

The salient features of the ambient mudskipper B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) are described as follows:
i. Fin Formula: B.V; D.5/27-28, P.19, V.1/5, A.26, C.13, L.1.ca 125.

ii.

Pseudobranchiae present, single rayed dorsal fin with flexible spine, eyes placed dorsally.

iii.

Smaller black blotches on 1st dorsal, 2nd dorsal; contains 2-3 rows of oblong white spots.

iv.

Three teeth on the either side of middle of upper jaw pointed and directed downwards. A pair of posterior canines, on lower jaw and about 25 truncated and notched sub-horizontals on either aside of the lower jaw.

v.

Caudal pointed, lower rays are shorter than the dorsals.

Systematic position of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuvier & Valencienne, 1837) is as follows: i. ii. iii. iv. Family- Gobiidae Sub family- Oxudercinae Genus- Boleopthalmus species- dussumieri The fishermen communities residing in the vicinity of the Ulhas River estuary dependant on available fisheries of the same are suffering for their daily needs due to the depleted fishery. Many fisher-folks have therefore shifted to the other available occupations. As the river is moderate source of sand, few fishermen have adopted sand dredging activities. Besides some anthropogenic activities such as solid waste disposal, mangrove cutting, reclamation, construction etc. are also observed to be influencing the estuarine environment of the ambient waterbody (Athalye et al., 2003). I.1. OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT: The project involves an attempt to determine the pollution status of the ambient water through the hydrological study and certain anthropogenic activities affecting the same. To correlate the biological studies of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val) with its health status.

To ordain the status quo of the Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.), fishery of the Ulhas River estuary.

I.2. PLAN OF WORK: Since tidal water oscillates from Vasai Fort to the Dombivli-Kalyan and back, it was taken up as the estuarine region of the Ulhas River. The estuary was imagined for the three zones as study areas as follows. Zone I From Dombivli to Kolshet, this zone is highly affected due to the domestic activities as there are several human habitations viz. Mumbra, Kharegaon, Vehele, Alimghar, Diva, where fragmented of mangrove

vegetation and the fishery is seldom occurred. The zone is constricted at its seaward proximity due to two major bridge constructions of Bhiwandi bypass and the Kasheli. Zone II From Kasheli village to Gaimukh Sand landing centre traversing from the lustful mangrove vegetation. The zone is demarcated by moderate depth and prevalent mudflats. It is influenced largely due to the Bhiwandi MIDC area, Bayer Pharmaceutical Company, ColorChem Dyeing industry and sand dredging activities. Zone III From Gaimukh to the Bhayandar made-up of rocky basin and gradually increasing in depth at its greatest as it approaches the Arabian Sea towards Vasai Fort. Mudskipper fishing is predominant in this zone as it holds a number of wider mudflats throughout. The study was carried for nine months, from the month of July 2004 to March 2005. The seasons were designated as Monsoon- July to September Early Post Monsoon (EPM)- October to December Late Post Monsoon (LPM)- January to March The hydro-sedimentological studies were performed zone-wise on monthly basis. Sample collection stations, one station from each zone, were decided for the sampling purpose. -Kharegaon station (KS) in the vicinity of Thane city from Zone-I, -Gaimukh station (GS) at Gaimukh jetty from Zone-II and

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-Versova-bridge station (VS) near Bhayandar Village. (see plate 1 & Map, annexure I) -Whereas the fishery and the biology of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.), were studied zone-wise and recorded according to season in the entire estuary. Entire investigation was carried from the months of July 2004 to March 2005. A pooled data of the biology of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.), has been produced.

11

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CHAPTER II

POLLUTION STATUS OF THE ULHAS RIVER


ESTUARY AND SOME ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIES INVOLVED
Numerous experts have instantaneously studied the hydrological parameters of various waterbodies in the country. It has been found that the water quality of the water bodies lying in the vicinities of urban areas is heavily polluted due to industrial and domestic wastes. It influences aquatic environment heavily and put adverse effect on the organisms living therein (Mishra, 2002, Athalye et al. 2003, CPHERI, 1971, Tandel, 1884, Durve, 1961, Metcalf et al., 1979, Zingde, 2002, Mohapatra et al., 2000, Patil, 1982). The study of water quality and the sediments indicate the pollution status of the aquatic environments. The Ulhas River estuary hydrology was corroborated by Qamrul Hasan (1984), Shahoo et al, 1985, 1987), Mathew (1989), Mukharji (1993). Hence the hydrology was considered for the study.

MATERIAL AND METHOD:

The study of hydrological parameters was carried in the three zones at their corresponding stations KS, GS and VS, every month from July 2004 to March, 2005. Sampling was done between the 2 nd and 3rd week of every month during full tide. Samples were assessed using the standard methods as per APHA, AWWA, WPCF, 1981; sediments as per the Buchanans settling rate method, 1984 and Organic carbon by Walkley and Black, 1934 method.

13

The water parameters assessment such as

water colour, water

temperature, light penetration and dissolved oxygen were assessed on site during the collection. Water samples required for remaining parameters such as water pH, salinity, BOD, SiO3-Si, NO3-N and PO4-P were collected in the washer-stoppered polyethylene bottles of one liter capacity and brought to the laboratory and were examine on the same day. II.1 WATER PARAMETERS

II. 1.i WATER COLOUR: Water colour changes due to the seasonal or artificial alteration, such as planktonic growth, land run-off, industrial effluents etc. the study some how helps in water condition interpretation. The greenish colour of water showed the rich growth of phytoplankton, brownish colour showed either river influx during the rainy season or the sand dredging activity and the blackish colour showed the pollution along the Ulhas River estuary.

II.1.ii WATER TEMPERATURE: Due to the shallowness of the basin and influx of the river, the temperature varies diurnally and seasonally. Several other manmade factors such as the particulate matter, thermal pollution, exothermic chemicals etc also affect the temperature regime of the estuarine ecosystem. Therefore water temperature plays an important role in the estuaries. The endemic organisms being eurythermic can tolerate the temperature fluctuation but the occasional visitors are greatly affected. Temperature fluctuation also affects the phytoplankton and zooplankton and hence affects the fish. The surface water temperature ranged from 24oC to 33o C with an average of 26.3 0C in the Ulhas river estuary (Graph 1.). The temperature rises gradually from early post monsoon to the late post monsoons throughout the estuary.

II.1.iii LIGHT PENETRATION:

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The light penetration has importance regarding the primary productivity of the ambient water. Being shallow the light can reach the bottom but due to the particulate matter it is greatly obliterated. The particulate matters may be the plankton or the suspended solids. Certain other sources like turbulence, run-off water, water added from the domestic and industrial wastes, mining or dredging activity increase the particulate matters which in turn hinder the light penetration. Light penetration ranged between 1.5 cm in September 2004 at GS and 38 cm in October 2004 at VS and the average being 10.33 cm. (Graph 2.) in Ulhas River estuary. Light penetration remained in concurrence with the water colour i.e. When water was greenish (revealing the high phytoplankton) the light penetration was also greater.

II.1.iv SUSPENDED SOLIDS (SS): The plankton population imparts the suspended solids in aquatic habitat like estuary. The upwelling of the sea and land run-off water during winter and monsoon respectively causes the increase in SS. Human activity such as mining, sand dredging may bring about considerable change in the SS of small waterbody like Ulhas River estuary. Alam, (1992) observed that detrital particle generally form a major component of suspended matters in sewage polluted aquatic environment. Suspended particles obliterate the light penetration hence lowering the photosynthetic rate. These also hinder the vision and clog the gills of animals. Present study exhibited the suspended solids in the Ulhas River estuary was fluctuating between 0.4 mg/l (in Jan. 2005 at GS and VS) and 15.0 mg/l (in Nov. 2004 at VS). The average of being 4.378 mg/l. (Graph 3.). Suspended solids in the estuary were high during the rainy days. The high values occurred however occurred on other than rainy days also.

II.1.v pH of WATER: Saline water does not vary in pH since the salts render buffering action but the pollution status may bring down the pH of water which normally remains

15

slightly alkaline. Accumulation of CO2, due to the heavy decomposition of organic matter indicating domestic deposition, may also decrease pH. The pH ranged from 6.24 (acidic in February 2005) at GS to 7.91 (alkaline in Sept., 2004) at VS. The average pH was 7.08. (Graph 4.)

II.1.vi SALINITY: Water salinity plays a crucial role in the estuarine habitat as it often fluctuates with the oceanic tidal inundation and the river water influx. Ulhas River estuary is very shallow and hence is affected largely due to both the tidal and riverine currents. Euryhaline endemic organisms are not much affected due to the salinity fluctuation but some being very sensitive to it cannot withstand the dilution due to sewage water disposal or release of dam water, up-streams. The salinity varied greatly from 0.376 %0(in Aug., 2004 at KS) to 31.22 %0 in March, 2005 at VS) with an average of 17.4 %o (Graph 5.) II.1.vii DISSOLVED OXYGEN (DO): Dissolved oxygen (DO), like salinity plays an important role in the estuary. The inhabitant organisms are affected greatly due the diurnal and seasonal variation in the dissolved oxygen of the ambient water. DO is governed by the water turbulence, surface diffusion, rate of photosynthesis, BOD, water temperature and carbon dioxide concentration. The dissolved oxygen level below 2.5 mg/l (Laponite et al., 1992) is hypoxic to organisms residing in estuary. (Graph 6.) Dissolved oxygen ranged between 0.504 mg/l (in Feb. 2005 at KS) and 7.049 mg/l (in March, 2005 at VS), the average being 2.402 mg/l. the dissolved oxygen was almost at hypoxic level in the entire estuary.

II.1.viii BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND (BOD): It is a measure of the organic matter present in the ambient water. BOD increases with the increased inflow of the domestic waste Athalye et al., 2003). High BOD depletes the oxygen level to a critical condition especially during the night. Oxygen being vital factor in the estuarine ecosystem BOD must be

16

checked for its existence. Besides it is a tool for monitoring the pollution status of waters. BOD of Ulhas River estuary ranged from 0.403 mg/l (in Oct., 2004 at GS and VS) to 15.708 mg/l (in Jan. 2005 at VS), with an average of 4.597mg/l. BOD increases to its greatest in the LPM season indicating the accumulation of organic matter. (Graph 7).

II.1.ix

NUTRIENTS {Phosphate-phosphorus (PO4-P), Nitrate nitrogen (NO3- N) and Silicate silicon (SiO3-Si)}: The nutrients play a major role in primary productivity of the estuary.

These are generated as a result of decomposition in natural condition that is regularly taken up by the phytoplankton in an aquatic body. However the industrial effluents and domestic waste also carry excessive nutrients like NO 3-N and PO4-P. The SiO3-Si is brought in by riverine water; due to leaching of the basin as a result of affinity to oxygen or sources like igneous rock of volcanic origin (Mishra, 2002). (Graph 8.) The silicate silicon values are very elaborate with an average of 48.8 mg/l; high during monsoon and gradually decreasing in the EPM and finally LPM. Nitrate nitrogen values are moderate and rose twice in the monsoon and later in the Late-post monsoon. In monsoon it must be brought in by the rain water from the catchment area, whereas in LPM, it is due to high decomposition rate as indicated by the BOD. Nitrogen averages at 1.124 mg/l. (Graph 9) The phosphate phosphorus is added to the estuary from the domestic area sewage. The bimodal curves occurred (see graph 10) thus land runoff increases the phosphorus during the monsoon and in LPM, from the domestic sewage. (Graph 10.)

II. 2 SEDIMENTS Sediments are deposited from the river fed water which forms a rich substratum for the benthic organisms in the estuary. The animals like mudskippers crabs, clams etc. require soil for their shelter. The Ulhas River estuary has rich mudflats on its either banks from Kevani-Diva to its proximity till

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Vasai Fort. This renders a considerable fishery in the area. But due to the various anthropogenic activities the substratum is disturbed and the fishery species are greatly affected. Therefore assessment of the sediment structure is essential to be taken in the mudskipper fishery study. The Sedimentology such as soil texture and organic carbon were done.

II.2.i

SOIL TEXTURE: Soil texture involves three types of particles the particles size above 62

are sand; between 4 to 62 is silt and particles below 4 are clay (Buchanan, 1984). Mishra (2002) found highest percentage of the silt in monsoon season in the Ulhas River estuary. The present study revealed the silt being keeping high during the entire study period. It ranged from 30% to 60% in various months. The average was found to be 19.56; 44.82 and 28.15 for sand; silt and clay respectively. (Graph 11.)

II. 2.ii ORGANIC CARBON: Organic carbon is a source of organic matter which is dumped in the estuary through domestic wastes and the dead organisms of the water body. Organic matter enhances the decomposition, increasing the BOD of the water and discomforting the living beings inhabiting in it. Many endemic organisms are therefore shifted to the other available locations. The present finding revealed that organic carbon in the Ulhas River estuary varied from the minimum of 0.69% to 3.53% with an average of 2.173%. Zone I reciprocated with Zone II & III in early post monsoon dropping abruptly to 0.69% in the month of November in EPM. However overall organic carbon kept fluctuates during the study period. (Graph 12.) II. 3 ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIES: Several anthropogenic activities have been noted during the study those incur favorable or adverse effect on the health of the ambient waters such as,

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plastic garbage, mangrove cutting for fuel, reclamation in the estuarine area, constructions, solid waste dumping.

A.

HARMFUL PRACTICES ALONG THE ULHAS RIVER ESTUARY: Indiscriminate use of plastic goods and the polyethylene bags has raised the plastic garbage to unimaginable level. The Ulhas River estuary has dumped with tremendous plastic garbage which is blocking the pneumatophores of mangrove plants, suffocate the fish, and hinder the normal activity of the aquatic organisms. Huge amount of plastic was found trapped in the fishing gears. Animals sometime consume the plastic mistaking them for food and die (Anatharaman et al., 2003). The young ones of B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) were found to get disappeared from plastic prone areas in the study (see plate 3.) Fuel gathering is the activity disturbing the habitat. Villagers from Yela, Alimghar, Kevani, Kalher, Chena etc. have been observed for mangrove cutting for fuel purpose. Places are reclaimed for human settlement through obliterating the channel of the Ulhas River Estuary. The solid waste dumping and reclamation go hand in hand in the Ulhas River estuary. The solid waste especially from the reconstructions e.g. building rubbles, are dumped in the area sited for reclamation (e.g. Mumbra) which narrowed the channel affecting the passage of organisms inhabiting it. Besides the megaconstructions like bridges also constrict the passage for the estuarine water and enhances the sedimentation due to the lack of proper flushing. On estuary there are four major bridges namely Bhiwandi bypass, Kasheli Bridge, Versova Bridge, and Bhaindar-Virar Bridge. Sand dredging was frequent in the Zone I and Zone II, latter being more vigorous (Plate 2.).

19

PLASTIC SORTING AT ULHAS RIVER ESTUARY: Approximately 10 million tonnes of solid waste are discharged in to ocean every year of which 1 million tonnes are plastic debris (Anantharaman et al. 2003). It is prime time for controlling the plastic garbage from deteriorating the ambient waterbody. Amongst one of the healthy practices plastic was found to be sorted at Kharegaon for recycling procedure at Kharegaon (See Plate 2). Such practices are the prime need of the present days.

Hydrological Parameters in Ulhas River Estuary

Graph 1.Water Temp. URE 2004-05


35

30

25

temp (C)

20

15

10

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months

UI

UII

UIII

20

Graph 2 Light Penetration URE 2004-05


40

35

30

25

LP (cm)

20

15

10

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV monthas UI UII UIII DEC JAN FEB MAR

Hydrological Parameters in Ulhas River Estuary


Graph 3.Suspended solids URE 2004-05
16

14

12

10

SS (mg/l)

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV months UI UII UIII DEC JAN FEB MAR

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Graph 4. pH in URE 2004-05


9

pH
4 3 2 1 0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months

UI

UII

UIII

Hydrological Parameters in Ulhas River Estuary

Graph 5. Salinity in URE 2004-05


35

30

25

Salinity (o/oo)

20

15

10

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months

UI

UII

UIII

22

Graph 6. Dissolved ozxygen in URE 2004-05


8

DO (mg/l)

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months

UI

UII

UIII

Hydrological Parameters in Ulhas River Estuary

25

Graph 7. BOD in URE 2004-05

20

BOD (mg/l)

15

10

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months UI UII UIII

23

140

Graph 8. Silicates in URE 2004-05

120

100

Silicateas (mg/l)

80

60

40

20

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months

Series1

Series2

Series3

Hydrological Parameters in Ulhas River Estuary

Graph 9. Nitrate-Nitrogen in URE 2004-05

3.5

NO3-N (mg/l)

2.5

1.5

0.5

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months

UI

UII

UIII

24

0.6

Graph 10. Phosphates-P in URE 2005-04

0.5

0.4

phosphate (mg/l)

0.3

0.2

0.1

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

month

UI

UII

UIII

Sediments in Ulhas River Estuary


Graph 11. Organic carbon in URE 2004-05

3.5

% org. carbon

2.5

1.5

0.5

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months UI UII UIII

25

Soil Texture in Ulhas River Estuary 2004-05


80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0 UI UII Sand % JULY AUG SEPT OCT UIII UI UII Silt % NOV DEC JAN UIII UI UII Clay % FEB MAR UIII

Sediments in Ulhas River Estuary

Silt regime of URE 2004-05


70

60

50

40

% silt
30 20 10 0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

month

Silt % UI Silt % UIII

Silt % UII

26

45

Graph 12. Sand Regime in URE 2004-2005

40

35

30

% of Sand

25

20

15

10

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV months Sand % UI Sand % UII Sand % UIII DEC JAN FEB MAR

Graph 14. Clay regime in URE 2004-05


80

70

60

50

% of Clay

40

30

20

10

0 JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

months Clay % UI Clay % UII Clay % UIII

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CHAPTER III

BIOLOGY OF BOLEOPTHALMUS DUSSUMIERI


(CUV. & VAL.)

Biological study is essential to ordain the health status of the ambient fish. Food feeding, hepatosomatic index, gonadosomatic index, length-weight relationship, proximate composition, spawning behaviour etc. are the frequently quested biological aspects during the last two centuries and have been found to be established in directing the condition of the fish.( (Day, 1882; Mutsaddi, 1964; Qasim, 1972). The present biological studies have been corroborated for procuring the exact health status of the ambient fish in the Ulhas River estuary.

III.1.

MATERIAL AND METHOD:

The specimens were collected from the fishing location in live condition and were assessed immediately for glycogen in the muscles. At-least three individuals were assessed separately and the mean of the spectrophotometric readings was noted. The edible part (muscles) was removed from the freshly killed individuals and was kept for drying in the oven at 70oC for 48 hrs. This was used for crude protein, total lipids (Ametaj et al., 2003) and body moisture assessments. Remaining individuals were preserved in 10% Formaldehyde prepared in brackish water collected from the Ulhas River estuary for future study (length-weight relationship, food and feeding, and liver- somatic index). The length and weight of fish were noted in preserved condition. Specimens were washed and carefully blotted and length and weight were noted to the

29

nearest mm and mg respectively. Each fish was then opened and the liver weight and the gut contents were noted.

The Following methods were used for various biological assessments:


Sr. No. 1. Biological study
Food and feeding habit of B. Dussumieri (Cuv. & Point method Val.)

Method

2. 3.

Length-weight relationship Hepato-somatic index

Statistical method Adams & Mc Leans equation

Proximate composition:
4. 5. 6. 7. 8
Muscle crude protein Muscle glycogen Total lipids Body moisture Total ash Lowrys method (Lowry;1984) Anthrone reagent method (Seifter et al;1949) Folch et al. (1957) Oven drying Furnace combustion

III.2.

Food and feeding habit of Boleopthalmus Dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) The estuarine environment are rich in primary production, therefore

numerous fishes migrate to the estuary for feeding purpose. Food and feeding habit of the fish in the estuary is of great importance to understand their life history including growth, breeding and migration and also for management of commercially important fisheries (Bal et al., 1984). Several experts have concentrated on the food and feeding habit of various fish in the world (Day, 1882; Mutsaddi, 1964; Qasim, 1972; Clayton, 1993; Wise, 1994; Connolly, 2004; Kitts, 2004).

30

Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) is herbivorous, bottom feeder and endemic to the Ulhas River estuary. A seasonwise pooled data was procured for food and feeding habit of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.). The high feeding intensity of the monsoon season decreased to its lowest level in the late post monsoon. Individuals were well-fed in monsoon, moderately fed in early post monsoon and starving in the late post monsoon season (Graph 13). Diatoms were the most selected food during the monsoon season. Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val) was observed for shifting from diatom to algae during early post monsoon, whereas in late post monsoon most of the individuals were starving (Graph 14) and found to be foraging on decayed mangrove foliage (Spongy tissue, water storage tissue, Palisade cells and salt glands) and seldom on fish scales and ova. But the extent of the intake of mangrove foliage was very low. Individuals having the gorged or full stomach were found to forage on diatoms predominantly (Table III.2.). Food items were observed in the gut of b. Dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) from ulhas river estuary 2004 -2005 as tabulated below (plate 5 & 6): Table III.2.
type of food pinnate diatoms sr. no. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Centric Diatoms Algae 10. 11. 12. 13. name of food item Nitschia sigmoides Navicula tumida Pleurosigma sp. Nitschia ascicula Gyrosigma sp. Surirella sp. Asterionella sp. Navicula sp. Pseudonitschia sp. Cyclotella sp. Melosira sp. Oscillatiria sp. Spirulina sp. frequency most frequent Very frequent Very frequent Frequent Frequent Frequent Common Frequent Common Frequent Frequent Frequent Common

31

14.

Unidentified sp. (Chlorophyceae)

Common (plate 5. ) Rare (plate 5.)

15.

Unidentified sp. (Chlorophyceae)

Mangrove foliage

16.

Water storage tissue, Common Spongy tissue, Palisade cells and salt glands

Others

17. 18.

Fish egg Fish scale

Accidental Accidental

Early postmonsoon diet of B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.)

85.37

1.83 Diatom Algae

12.2 Foliage Others

Late postmonsoon diet of B dussumieri (Cuv.& Val.)

62.71

27.23

2.97 Diatom Algae

10.89 Foliage

Others

32

monsoon diet of B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val)

17.36

76.73 0

6.11

Diatom

Algae

Foliage

Others

III.3. Length-weight relationship of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) The knowledge of length-weight relationship of fish has a vital importance in fishery, as it not only helps in establishing the yield but in converting one variable (e.g. Length) into the other (weight). Fishery biologists commonly

record the size of fish in terms of length and work out its relationship with the weight of animal, so that the conversion between length and weight may be possible, when desired. This relationship also helps in fishery management and in understanding biological phenomena like age, growth and maturity. It also gives insight into the well being of the animal (Pejaver, 1984).The relationship between length, L and weight W is derived by the equation W = a Lb where a, (Le Cren, 1951) is a constant and b the exponent. On the linear transformation, the above equation becomes log W = log a + b (log L) Where theoretical value of b is normally 3 called as Herbert Spencers cube law. Length and weight of the specimens were taken in preserved condition. The observations on specimens from three seasons (monsoon, early postmonsoon and late post-monsoon) were analyzed separately, for which they were grouped with the class interval on 10 mm. Average total body length and total body weight of the specimens in each group were calculated. Average

33

length frequency of specimens groups ranged from 75-85 to 105-115. These groups were found common in all the three seasons and hence were considered in the length-weight relationship. The relationship between the length and weight of both the sexes shows parabola (Graph.15) i.e. exponential relationship occurred. Log length and Log weight relationship in all the three seasons indicates a straight line with little difference (Graph. 16). The length-weight relationship indicated that the health of the Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val) was better in early post monsoon and was poor in the late post monsoon.

Graph 13. Seasonwise feeding intensity of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.)
50 45 40 35

% fullness

30 25 20 15 10 5 0 mon Epm Lpm

Season 3/4th half

gorged

full

1/4th

traces

empty

Graph 14. Season wise variation in components of gut content in B. Dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.)
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
85.37 77.32 62.87

% Occurrence

27.23 17.36 6.11 0 12.2 1.83 0 10.89 1.49

monsoon

Epm

Lpm

Season

Diatom

Algae

Foliage

Others

34

Graph 15. Seasonwise Length-weight relationship of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) from URE 2004-05
L-W Relationship of B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) in Monsoon

9000

8000 7000

weight (mg)

6000

5000 4000

3000 2000 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120

length (mm)

10000

L-W Relationship of B. Dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) in EPM

9000

8000

7000

weight (mg)

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120 length (mm)

L-W Relationship of B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) in LPM


7000 6500 6000 5500

weight (mg)

5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115

length (mm)

35

Graph 16. Seasonwise Length-weight relationship of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) from URE 2004-05
4

L-W rlationship B. dussumieri i(Cuv. & Val.) in monsoon


3.9

3.8

3.7

log w

3.6

3.5

3.4

3.3

3.2 1.88

1.9

1.92

1.94

1.96

1.98

2.02

2.04

2.06

2.08

log l

4 3.95 3.9 3.85 3.8 3.75 3.7 3.65 3.6 3.55 1.88

L-W Relationship of B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) in EPM

log w

1.9

1.92

1.94

1.96

1.98 log l

2.02

2.04

2.06

2.08

3.85 3.8

L-W Relationship of B, dussumieri (Cuv. Val.) in LPM


3.75 3.7 3.65

log w

3.6

3.55 3.5 3.45 3.4 3.35 1.9 1.92 1.94 1.96 1.98 2 2.02 2.04 2.06

log l

36

Sr No 1 2 3 4 5 6

Grps.

L(mm)

W(gm)

Log L=X

Log W=Y

XY

75-85 85-95 95-105 105-115 115-125 125-135 6

79.67 89.0 99.0 115.0 118.0 129.0 629.67

2.307 3.09 5.024 8.5 9.45 13.04 41.371

1.901 1.949 1.996 2.061 2.072 2.111 12.09

0.363 0.489 0.701 0.929 0.974 1.115 4.571

3.615 8.8 3.982 4.246 4.293 4.455 24.391

0.132 0.239 0.491 0.863 0.949 1.243 3.917

0.69 0.953 1.399 1.914 2.018 2.353 9.327

Length-Weight BD Monsoon -2004 (July, Aug & Sept)

Length-Weight BD Early-postmonsoon -2004 (Oct, Nov & Dec)


Sr No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 105-115 115-125 125-135 135-145 145-155 155-165 165-176 175-185 8 110.63 120.0 126.5 134.4 150.67 160.0 173.0 177.5 21.73 9.02 10.135 20.27 13.275 15.405 19.07 20.095 2.044 2.079 2.100 2.128 2.178 2.204 2.238 2.249 17.22 Grps. L (mm) W (gm) Log L=X Log W=Y 1.337 0.955 1.006 1.307 1.123 1.188 1.28 1.303 9.499 4.178 4.323 4.41 4.53 4.744 4.858 5.0 5.058 37.101 1.788 0912 1.012 1.708 1.261 1.411 1.639 1.697 11.428 2.732 1.986 2.113 2.782 2.446 2.618 2.864 2.931 20.472 X
2

XY

Length-Weight BD Late-postmonsoon -2005 (Jan, Feb & March)


Sr. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 55-65 65-75 75-85 85-95 95-105 105-115 6 49.0 69.0 80.75 89.571 100.29 109.78 1.053 1.687 2.495 3.669 4.998 6.113 Grps. L (mm) W (gm) Log L =X 1.69 1.839 1.907 1.952 2.001 2.041 9.43 Log W =Y 0.022 0.227 0.397 0.565 0.301 0.786 2.696 2.857 3.381 3.637 3.811 4.005 4.164 21.855 0.00 0.052 0.158 0.319 0.091 0.618 1.635 0.037 0.417 0.757 1.103 0.602 1.604 5.317 X2 Y2 XY

37

III.4. Hepato-somatic index (IH) of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) Fish growth pattern can be a tool for determining the health of fish. Logically, the growth of tissue and the storage energy in muscles and liver can cause a fish to attain a greater weight than it would normally have at a particular age, during the period of high energy intake (Busacker et al. 1998). On the contrary the pollution may affect the normal growth of fish. Hoque,

(1998) found the growth rate and liver somatic index (IH) significantly lower (P>0.05) in Mystus nemurus exposed to hydrogen sulphide. A reduction in IH has been demonstrated in fish population stressed by acidity (Lee et al., 1983), other chemicals such as heavy metals (Larsson et al., 1984).
Graph 17: Season-wise average of hepato-somatic index (I H) of B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) from URE 2004-05
6

IH

0 Monsoon EPM LPM

Season

In the ambient fish the Hepato-somatic index (Mc Lean, 1985) was found to be greater in early post-monsoon, the second highest was the monsoon and the least being late post-monsoon (Graph 17).

III 5. Proximate composition of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) The proximate composition of organisms (such as lipids, glycogen, moisture, crude protein) has been fetching the concentration of the several experts, as it is closely related to the health and the toxic stress caused due to the pollution in aquatic environment. Millory (1908) observed conspicuously low glycogen level in spent fishes. The increased feeding intensity rises the 38

glycogen percentage after spawning in both the sexes. The glycogen content of muscle fluctuates in relation to the maturation and spawning (Sonawane et al., 2001). The energy metabolism has a key role as the animal is forced to spend more energy to mitigate the augmented toxic stress. The glycogen level decreases as the pollutants increase in the aquatic organisms (Kumar et al., 2001). Tandel, (1984) observed the reciprocal relationship fat and moisture content in both Mugil cephalus and Mystus gulio. Therefore proximate composition was assessed to find whether they correlation with the pollution status of the estuary.

III.5.i Observations: Table III.5.


Season Moisture (%) Monsoon 80.3 Crude Protein (%) 9.55 10.48 8.69 0.63 0.51 1.10 Lipids (%) Glycogen (%) 1.69 2.40 1.20 Total Ash (%) 7.80 6.80 8.32

EPMonsoon 80.7 LPMonsoon 80.1

The study revealed that the percentage of the moisture in the muscles is directly proportional with that of crude protein, glycogen and total ash, where as it reciprocates with the fat content of the body (Table III.5). The fish was observed to be containing comparatively high moisture, crude protein and glycogen and low fat contents in early post-monsoon. Monsoon season exhibited medium levels whereas in late post-monsoon the former conditions were exactly opposite to that of early post-monsoon season.

39

40

CHAPTER IV

FISHERIES OF BOLEOPTHALMUS DUSSUMIERI


(CUV. & VAL.)
IV.1. FISHING ACTIVITIES: The poor fishermen are mostly involved in the inward water fishery; therefore estuary is boon for their livelihood. It has been observed that the estuarine fisheries are dwindling by time. The main reason is the human exploitation of the ambient waterbody. The fuel gathering, reclamation, industrial and domestic pollutants and overfishing are the main factor involved in the deterioration of the Ulhas River estuary (Qamrul, et al., 1981; Athalye, et al. 2003; Baig, 1990). In the Ulhas River estuary fishermen from localities in the vicinity such as Vehele, Sarang, Surai, Anjur, Diva-Kankavli, Alimghar, Dombivli, and Kasheli from Zone-I are involved in the mudskipper fishery. In Zone-II mudskipper fishery was insignificant, whereas in Zone-III, it was frequently observed at Nagla, Sasu Navghar, Maljipada, Versova, Naigao, Vadavli, Khochivade and Panju situated along the northern bank. The fishery study was carried through the personal interview of the fishermen involved in the mudskipper fishery in the regions and the survey of fish market at Thane, Kankavli Naka, Kalher and Bhayandar. The mudskipper fishing is carried out mostly mudflats setting a trap on the

only of northern bank of the Ulhas River estuary as there is

considerable deterioration occurred due to the human intrusion on the southern bank (see map annexure I). The fishing method involved basin -method, locally known as Malli. The technique is based on suffocating the fish by covering the

41

burrow. A rectangular or triangular embankment is constructed out of mud from the fishing ground itself. A slope is maintained towards one of the corners, where an earthen or metal container is buried in the soil, keeping its mouth (brim) open at ground level. The container plays a role of trap. Now the burrows in the ring are blocked by plastering with the mud. The mudskippers come out of burrow due to suffocation, which are scared, making noise and waving the flag made of colorful cloth and slowly driven towards the trap. Fish is hauled after a considerable number of individuals are trapped and transported in the splitbamboo basket. Apart from this fishes are seldom caught in Dol net (bag net used in the estuary proper in major fishery), Bokshi net (small bag net used in the inundated area with very fine mosquito-net mesh during monsoon) and barrier net (a pen net popular for mullet fishery) along the entire estuary. The bokshi-net being destructive to mudskipper fishery as the young-ones of 30mm to 60mm length are caught which may diminish the catch of the forthcoming season. Fishing attempts were on vogue from monsoon to the early postmonsoon seasons frequenting from thrice to forth in a fortnight which however diminished towards the late post-monsoon to negligible level. There were about 50 from Zone I, 3 from Zone II and 200 fishermen from Zone III were found to be engaged in B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) fishing during the observation.

IV.2. FISHERY: Several gobiid fish species were caught along the Ulhas River estuary (Rathod, 2003) out of which the Gobius spp., Boleopthalmus dussumieri and B. boddarti comprised major catch. B. dussumieri was dominant species in the mudskipper fishery locally known as Niwati. The B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) fishery is important as concerned to the high demand from decades. It is relished in fresh condition by the local people of Thane district. B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) fishery has fetched a special importance as the fish is available in live condition in the markets. It was soled in a local measure of Kodi (i.e. one Kodi = 22 pieces) immaterial of the size and weight. The value of a Kodi ranged from Rs. 25 to Rs. 100/Kodi, dependent on the availability and demand of the

42

fish. It was learned through the interview of fishermen that the fishery has dwindled to merely 5 % as compared to the past two decades. Therefore many fishermen have recently stopped the mudskipper fishing. Most of the mudskipper catch was confined to monsoon and early post monsoon seasons of the study period. The size groups in the monsoon were varied whereas in the early post-monsoon they were bigger and uniform.

43

44

45

46

CHAPTER V

DISCUSSION
Despite the studies on hydrology and fisheries of the Ulhas river estuary were attempted on a few occasions (Mutsaddi, 1964; Archeivala, 1969; Qamrul, et al., 1981; Baig, 1990; Mishra, 2002; Athalye, et al. 2003) and as the estuary being a dynamic and ever-changing, it was essential to perform the similar studies again to ordain exact present status quo of the estuarine pollution and fisheries therein. Several factors found insignificant at one instance may become significant at the other. The synchronization between the ambient species B.

dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) and the seasonal variation in the hydrological conditions of the Ulhas river estuary was needed to be established. Therefore the hydrological study was included in the plan along with the fishery B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.).

V.1.

Hydrological parameters (Refer Table I.1, I.2 and I.3): Present study revealed that the water temperature stayed almost

constant except during the severe hot month of Late post-monsoon. Variations were almost stable in all the zones. (Graph 1.). The temperature condition is quiet encouraging to the inhabitant species as it renders the protection. Light penetration was at peak in the early post-monsoon. This dropped to its minimum due to the increased turbidity in Zone II and Zone III except Zone I where the turbidity is diluted due to riverine clear water. The other reason to increase the turbidity in Zone II and Zone III was due to the increased sand dredging activity in Zone II. The water colour was in concurrence with the light penetration. Water

47

remained greenish when light penetration was greater indicating high primary productivity. The brownish water colour was due to the land runoff water from riverside during monsoon and at the occasions of sand dredging activity. Normally the saline water remains stable in pH keeping at slightly alkaline, due the buffering action of dissolved salts. But it was found that the pH dropped to slightly acidic from the month of December, 2004 to February and March, 2005. In zone II it kept fluctuating irrespective of the seasons. This must be due to the effluent added intermittently, from the industries lying in this zone such as Bayer, color-hem, MIDC, Bhiwandi etc. the pH variation in zone I and zone II must exerting heavy stress as the estuarine organisms are sensitive to pH fluctuation. The condition becomes worst when the salinity is low (Clayton, 1993), therefore the mudskippers are not populated at all in zone II and scarce in zone I. The ambient species being Euryhaline stays in the estuary for lifetime but it has been observed that the young-ones abruptly disappear after the initial monsoon precipitation from zone I. Tandel (1984) in her study observed, the size-wise composition of mudskippers in the catch indicated that only small mudskippers were more sensitive to the turbulence caused by rainy season. Dissolved oxygen however remained hypoxic throughout the year in all the zones, except some instances (Graph 6.), revealed that the estuary is highly polluted. (Laponite & Clark, 1992). BOD was relatively high in zone than zone II and zone III indicating the high organic deposition through domestic wastes. It was observed during the study that in zone III the human excreta were disposed in the estuary in the late post monsoon season due to which the BOD shot to extreme level (21.22 mg/l). The nutrients like SiO3-Si and NO3-N remained very high can be correlated with the industrial effluent and domestic waste added to the estuary, throughout the year. Extreme high levels of SiO3-Si in Ulhas River estuary was due to igneous rock of volcanic origin in the vicinity (Mishra, 2002). High phosphate status in the monsoon was due to land runoff water flooded in the estuary during monsoon (Qasim et al., 1969). Sedimentology study with an average of sand, silt and clay, revealed that the percentage of silt was greater. According to Buchanan (1984) the soil is

48

clayey silt if the silt exceeds 60% in soil texture estimate. High silt is the sign of domestic wastes (Goldin, 2001) added to the estuary. This forced the inhabitant species to abandon the area. Due to the siltation the benthic organisms were disappeared from zone I and zone II as it must be hindering them from building their burrows. In the present study it was found that the health of the estuary has reached a critical position due to industrial and domestic activities. Overall scenario of the pollution status of the Ulhas River estuary during the study period indicated that the estuary has deteriorated to its threshold limit and must be protected from indiscriminate exploitation in future to save the natural heritage of our township.

V.2.

Biological study: From feeding intensity and the content of gut B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.)

was found to be selective in feeding as it selected only few spp. of diatoms from the number of them occurred in earlier study (Mishra, 2002). Individuals were well fed in the prosperous seasons. Diatoms were the most selected food during monsoon and early post monsoon seasons. Hence the diatom can be called as the basic food of the B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.). Alternatively the individuals also foraged on algae as obligatory food. In the absence of both the basic and obligatory food the fish was found to survive on mangrove foliage in late post monsoon season. Therefore the decayed mangrove foliage may be noted as emergency food. It is evident from the food and feeding of B . dussumieri (Cuv. Val.) that it suffered from sever starvation which is in concurrence in the low primary productivity, in late post-monsoon season. This must be the reason for the depletion of the mudskipper fishery in the late post-monsoon season and the meager catches of the same indicated lack of bigger individuals in the estuary. The bigger individuals might be either migrating towards sea or dying of starvation and stress or probably due to the fishing activity in early post monsoon. The fish containing high body fat, low muscle glycogen in late postmonsoon indicated the high pollution stress.

49

The length weight study supports the pollution conditions in the three seasons. In the early post monsoon the fish were comparatively healthy stating the prosperity of the season. The early post monsoon season exhibited wealthy food condition, stability in the environmental conditions. The subsequent increase in the organic carbon indicated that earlier primary production in the season. The study of proximate composition also revealed the change according to the seasons. Tandel (1984) observed the reciprocal relationship between the fat and moisture content of the body. She has also mentioned that the fish accumulates fat due to the environmental stress. The rise in the fat in late post monsoon is the similar observation in present study. At the same time the lowered glycogen in the late post monsoon season supports the above fact. The fishery study was found concomitant to the hydrological and biological evidences procured in this study. The fish has to face heavy environmental stress in late post monsoon that makes it to disappear in the season from the Ulhas River estuary.

V.3.

Conclusion: The pollution study of the ambient water examined through hydrology has clearly shown that the estuary was polluted to a critical level. Zone I comparatively faced sever hazard due to domestic activity. The water body as a whole was influenced greatly during the late post-monsoon season. The anthropogenic activities along with the industries are worsening the situation. The B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) health has affected due to pollution. The fish was lacking from the Zone I and Zone II in late post monsoon the pollution stress exerted on the fish during the late post monsoon season. The low glycogen and high fat content of the fish B. dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.) during the late post monsoon was concurrent with the pollution and the low salinity stress during the rainy season.

50

The fishery has dwindled to a miserable condition due to the above reasons.

51

CHAPTER VI

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Websites sited:
1. 2. 3. 4. www.http://aucasmbenvis.org www.http://fisheries.nsw.gov.au. www.http://South Asia SUSG Fisheries Workshop www.http://ramsar.org/photo_essay_india_bhoj.htm

ABBRIVIATIONS USED:-

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
10.

Mon = monsoon Epm /EPM= early post monsoon Lpm/LPM = late post monsoon URE = Ulhas River estuary DO = Dissolved oxygen BOD = Biochemical oxygen demand IH = Hepatosomatic index LP= light penetration SS = Suspended solids pp = printed pages

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