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Team to study impact on biodiversity in Nagapattinam

By Our Staff Reporter

TUTICORIN, JAN. 7. A team of scientists attached to the Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI) here today left for Nagapattinam on a two-day visit to study the impact of the December 26 tsunami on the bio-diversity and biomass of fisheries resources in the coast.

The three-member team will collect samples of water, fish and sediments for microbiological analysis to trace the presence of pathogenic bacteria, if any, because of the tsunami incursion, R. Santhanam, Dean, FCRI, told The Hindu. Similar studies would be conducted in other tsunami-affected districts in a phased manner.

Impact on edible fish

This apart, a team of experts under V.K. Venkataramani, HOD, Fisheries Biology, FCRI, will undertake an elaborate study on the impact of the tsunami on the composition and quantity of species such as edible fish, ornamental fish, shrimps, lobsters, sea fans, squids, cuttle fish, crabs and turtles along the Tuticorin coast, Dr. Santhanam said.

It will closely monitor the faunal assemblage and diversity of fauna, including marine ornamental fishes and associated fauna, around the reef islands along the coast. "The hydro-biological estimates will help us to know the influences of the tsunami on the precious reef islands in the Gulf of Mannar," he said.

Dr. Venkataramani and his team will also assess the damage to the coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar.

All data pertaining to bio-diversity and stock assessment obtained in the study will then be compared with the information gathered during a similar study conducted in 2002-04. "This will help us analyse all sorts of variations due to the influence of hydro-biological factors," Dr. Santhanam added.

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