OJMS  Vol.4 No.4 , October 2014
Decline in Diversity and Production of Exploited Fishery Resources in Vembanad Wetland System: Strategies for Better Management and Conservation
ABSTRACT
This paper describes the fishery catch structure of Vembanad wetland system during August 2012 to July 2013. The estimates of fishery production indicated an annual landing of 4387.31 t, in which 480.98 t and 3906.33 t contributed by southern and northern zone of Vembanad respectively. Eighty species of finfishes, five species of penaeid shrimps, three species of palaemonid prawns and two species of crabs were identified from the study period. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) value was maximum for gill net (3.04 kg&middoth-1) followed by stake net (2.43 kg&middoth-1), Chinese dip net (2.01 kg&middoth-1), seines (1.2 kg&middoth-1), cast net (0.72 kg&middoth-1) and hook and line (0.34 kg&middoth-1). Biological integrity and fishery production of estuaries in the country are declining mainly due to various man induced activities. Thaneermukkom barrage, the salinity barrier, constructed across the Vembanad wetland system in 1976, transforming the water body into two distinct ecosystems, a fresh water zone on the south and a brackish water zone on the north, resulting in gross changes in physical, chemical and biological entity of the aquatic ecosystem. In the southern zone of Vembanad the marine fish species were less available with the closure of the barrage period. There are signs of decline of the Vembanad fishery resources, evident in the lesser number of species and decline of fishery production. This will lead to biodiversity loss, fish stock reduction and will ultimately affect the livelihood support of the traditional fishers to a large extent, besides affecting other ecological services. A better conservation measure must be implemented for maintaining the sustainable fishery resources in Vembanad.

Cite this paper
Asha, C. , Suson, P. , Retina, C. and Nandan, S. (2014) Decline in Diversity and Production of Exploited Fishery Resources in Vembanad Wetland System: Strategies for Better Management and Conservation. Open Journal of Marine Science, 4, 344-357. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2014.44031.
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