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Estuaries

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 710–722 | Cite as

Impact of Farakka barrage on the hydrology and fishery of Hoogly estuary

  • M. Sinha
  • M. K. Mukhopadhyay
  • P. M. Mitra
  • M. M. Bagchi
  • H. C. Karamkar
Article

Abstract

Construction of the Farakka barrage on the Ganga River in April 1975 to augment water supply to the Calcutta port has brought about a significant increase in freshwater discharge in its distributary, the Hoogly estuary. This has naturally resulted in major changes in the ecology of this estuary, causing modifications in the structure of its fishery resources, fishing pattern, and fish production. This paper presents observations on salinity, plankton, bottom biota, fishery resource, and fish production of different zones of the Hooghly estuary during the period 1982–1992. Comparison with similar studies made before and immediately after commissioning of the Farakka barrage (1975–1977) has revealed that the increased freshwater discharge has resulted in considerable decrease in salinity throughout the estuary. The freshwater zone now extends toward the mouth of the estuary. The true estuarine zone has moved seaward and the marine zone has been restricted to the area near the mouth of the estuary. This has effected major changes in plankton dynamics, sharp decline in the fishery of marine and neritic species in the upper estuary, caused a significant increase in catch ofTenualosa ilisha and an over twofold increase in the average annual fish landings from the estuary as a whole. New zonations have been proposed based on the presently, observed salinity values, which are the most significant factor in determining the fishery of any estuary. An interdisciplinary study of the ecology of the new zones is needed to establish their correct biological characteristics.

Keywords

Benthic Fauna Fishery Resource Freshwater Zone Marine Zone Neritic Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Sinha
    • 1
  • M. K. Mukhopadhyay
    • 1
  • P. M. Mitra
    • 1
  • M. M. Bagchi
    • 1
  • H. C. Karamkar
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Inland Capture Fisheries Research InstituteBarrackporeIndia

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