Friday, December 22, 2006

Rare fishes in Coromandel coast

Increased salinity, rare fish in Bay of Bengal - The New Indian Express
Monday December 18 2006

CUDDALORE: The salinity in the Bay of Bengal has shot up alarmingly, almost equivalent to that of the Dead Sea post tsunami, according to a study conducted by Plus One students of a private school.

In the chemical composition of soil saturation extracts, concentration of sodium and bicarbonates was found higher. The pH value has increased from 5.8 to 8.40 in the wake of tsunami, which struck the coast on December 26, 2004. Besides this the electrical conductivity has also risen from 3.9 to 4.60 dsm.

Another observation of the students is that the normal colour of the sea has changed from sky blue to black. According to the students, it may be due to the presence of archebacteria, under-ocean bacteria, and other liquid secreted by fish. Rocky ocean surface has become shallow. Another finding is that the Bay of Bengal has become an abode of rare and new fish species; marine species, normally found in Pacific Ocean and other oceans, were found in the Bay of Bengal.

A fish - plataxteira, usually found at a depth of 3 metres below the surface of sea water, has moved to the Bay from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; they are new to the Coromandel coast. A number of invertebrates - crustaceans, molluscans, worms and algae were also found at the Pudumandabam coast.

Similarly, puffer fish, found around Australian coast, red crab, ornamental fish varieties - parrot fish, angel fish, clown fish and butterfly fish- were found in the sea bed. The number of seer fish (Vanjaram), promfet fish (vawal), murrel (virral), flat fish (nakku meen) and flying fish (kola meen) has decreased.

As part of the research, the students travelled more than 100 km along the coastline and contacted more than 400 fishermen.

The research paper, ‘Changes in aquatic life after tsunami in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu’ by five students of Krishnasamy Memorial Matriculation Higher Secondary School, was selected for a State-level Children Science Congress. Biology students - K Susidar, R Yugadev, K Dinakaran and Mohamed Salim- presented the copy to District Collector Gagandeep Singh Bedi. Correspondent Dr K Rajendran, principal R Natarajan and teacher Shanthi Pandian were also present on the occasion.

The study was carried out by Plus One students of a private school in Cuddalore.

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