Local Goa News

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mackerels swim towards Guj coast

Panaji: Mackerels have changed their habitat in the Indian peninsula, revealed a recent study by the central marine fisheries research institute (CMFRI).
The institute revealed that the Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta), from being predominantly in the southwest coast, has moved up to the northern west coast of India.

The species is thus expanding its habitat toward the northern part of Maharashtra and towards Gujarat.
Goa-based national institute of oceanography (NIO) is thus making an attempt to decipher how this phenomenon has occurred.
"There is an increase in mackerel catch in the northern part, which was not the case, 20 years ago. Because of new fish coming into the pelagic environment, the previously existing species will get affected. The food-web dynamics will be influenced leading to a change in the marine ecosystem," said A C Anil of NIO.
Their movement is therefore not just a case of new species coming into these waters, but it could lead to loss of some species as the mackerel are likely to feed on the native fish.
CMFRI's finding also gives the indication that the habitat of certain other fish species may also be changing. This phenomenon is thus likely to change the nature of fisheries along the 7500-km long Indian coastline. The reason for the change is still a mystery.
"If NIO can decipher the changes in ecosystem, it will help in improved forecasting of Indian marine fisheries and science-based fishery resource utilizations".
NIO is thus trying to collaborate with other institutes like the Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services, National Remote Sensing Centre, Fishery Survey of India, and Indian institute of science along with the CMFRI to build a team to address this issue holistically.
"An answer to these questions involves multiple disciplines, ranging from the physical forcing to biogeochemistry, biological oceanography, marine ecology, marine biology, and fishery oceanography," he said.

TOI Goa News

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