Pattern of Freshwater Fish Diversity, Threats and Issues of Fisheries Management in an Unexplored Tributary of the Ganges Basin, Northern India


Affiliations

  • National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Lucknow, 226002, India
  • University of Lucknow, Department of Zoology, India

Abstract

The present study was conducted to assess the current freshwater fish biodiversity status of an unexplored river Ghaghara, a major tributary of river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, India. Altogether, 62 species of fish representing 48 genera and 24 families were described. The various diversity index packages have been used to assess the fish diversity and diversity is also correlated with habitat variables. The Cypriniformes was recorded to be the most predominated order, contributing to 41.8% of fish species followed by Siluriformes (36.4%). The study shows that this river supports considerable percentage of food fish (79.0%), aquarium fish (48.4%), highly priced fishes (33.9%) and also sport fish (9.7%). The threat status as per current IUCN Red List criteria showed that most of the species are under lower risk least concern (LRlc) category, however, Indian assessment shows that about 23% fish species under threatened list (EN= 4, VU=10). Several anthropogenic activities like barrages, waste water dumping, over fishing, sedimentation, change in land use pattern etc. were found responsible to threaten the fish diversity. As the threats to fish biodiversity in the Ghaghara river are slowly becoming serious and conservation of fishes has become urgent, and integrated and sustainable fisheries management plan should therefore be developed.

Keywords

Fish Diversity, Habitat, Ghaghara River, Biodiversity, India.

Subject Discipline

Environmental Sciences

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