Fish in troubled waters

 Fish in troubled waters pollution and commercial fishing are ravaging marine resources in Kerala's coastal waters. Already many species such as the tuna and the prawn are on the decline. If the same trend continues, many of these may well vanish.

"Marine fish species have been found with changes in their composition,' says John Kurien of the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, who has done an extensive study of fishing and fisherfolk. This is mainly due to the rising presence of toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphinyls ( pcb s), and microbes such as E Coli, Staphylococcus and fecalis in the coastal waters in several districts of the state. In terms of fish catch, 1997 was the worst year in the past decade. Inshore marine fish landing in Kerala has shown a declining trend in the last five years, says Sanjeeva Ghosh, joint executive director, agency for development of aquaculture, Thiruvananthapuram. Untreated industrial and municipal effluents are blamed for this drop in fish catch.

Kerala's coastal areas are considered among the finest marine ecosystems in the country. Scientists have noticed changes in the colour as well as decrease in size of many fish varieties . Lately, environmentalists have expressed fears of degradation of the marine ecosystem even in havens like Lakshadweep

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