icthyofauna of atharbanki waterway, mahanadi estuary, east coast of india

Research Article
Aswini Nayak, *Dipti Raut and Lipika Patnaik
Mangrove waterway, Fish fauna, crafts and gears, fisheries

Investigations of a one year study (December, 2012 to November, 2013) on the fisheries of a human impacted estuarine mangrove fringed waterway Atharbanki (lat 20015’01.34”N, long 86038’21.20”E; to lat 20017’26.13”N, long 86042’16.23”E) of Mahanadi estuary, East coast of India revealed thirty six species of fish belonging to ten orders, twenty four families and thirty three genera. Order Perciformes was the most dominant (25%) followed by Siluriformes (15%), Cypriniformes and Clupeiformes (12%), Mugiliformes (6% each) and the others like Gonorynchiformes, Anguilliformes, Plueronectiformes and Elopiformes constituting 3% each of the fish fauna. Crustaceans such as Scylla serrata, Peneaus monodon, Parapenaeopsis sculptilis and Macrobrachium rosenbergii and others constituted 18 % of the total fauna. Observations indicated the use of traditional crafts and gears such as simple wooden canoes, motorized boats, gill nets, bag nets, drag net, set barriers, cast nets and scoop nets for subsistence fishing. With steady fragmentation of mangroves coupled with the effects of industrial units in its’ vicinity, the fishery of this stressed waterway could be affected.