Waste fishing gear threatens Ganges wildlife: Study

New Delhi, November 26

Researchers have found that waste fishing gear in Ganges poses a serious threat to wildlife, including otters, turtles and dolphins.

The study, published in the journal ‘Science of the Total Environment’, said that entanglement in fishing gear could harm species, including the critically endangered three-striped roofed turtle and the Ganges river dolphin.

Surveys along the length of the river, from the mouth in Bangladesh to the Himalayas in India, show that levels of waste fishing gear are highest near to the sea.

Fishing nets – all made of plastic – were the most common type of gear found.

Interviews with local fishers revealed high rates of fishing equipment being discarded in the river – driven by short gear lifespans and lack of appropriate disposal systems.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK, with an international team including researchers from India and Bangladesh, was conducted as part of the National Geographic Society’s “Sea to Source: Ganges” expedition.

“The Ganges River supports some of the world’s largest inland fisheries, but no research has been done to assess plastic pollution from this industry, and its impacts on wildlife,” said study author Sarah Nelms from Exeter.

“Ingesting plastic can harm wildlife, but our threat assessment focussed on entanglement, which is known to injure and kill a wide range of marine species,” Nelms added.

The researchers used a list of 21 river species of “conservation concern” identified by the Wildlife Institute for India.

They combined existing information on entanglements of similar species worldwide with the new data on levels of waste fishing gear in the Ganges to estimate which species are most at risk.

Speaking about the why so much fishing gear was found in the river, Nelms said: “There is no system for fishers to recycle their nets. Most fishers told us they mend and repurpose nets if they can, but if they can’t do that the nets are often discarded  in the river.”

“Many held the view that the river ‘cleans it away’, so one useful step would be to raise awareness of the real environmental impacts,” Nelms added.

The researchers noted that this is a complex problem that will require multiple solutions – all of which must work for both local communities and wildlife. IANS



Disclaimer: This post has not been edited by our staff and is published from a syndicated feed. The Original Source of this post can be found at Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

Gal Gadot: Equal pay has been my biggest struggle

Even Wonder Woman has to fight for equal pay. Hollywood star Gal Gadot says her biggest struggle as a...

Nambi Narayanan | The battles of a space dreamer

When S. Nambi Narayanan, a senior ISRO scientist, was arrested on November 30, 1994, on charges of leaking secrets pertaining to the Indian space...

Body recovered from barrage site of Tapovan tunnel, toll touches 80

More than two months after the glacial disaster in Chamoli district, one more body was recovered on Saturday from the barrage site of...

Arjun Rampal and Neil Nitin Mukesh test positive for Covid-19, under...

Arjun Rampal and Neil Nitin Mukesh are the latest celebrities to have tested positive for Covid-19. The actors revealed their diagnosis on their social...

More Articles