OF POLLUTION ON AQUATIC RESOURCES
Akansha Bisht and Grishma Tewari
College of Fisheries
G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar,
Aquatic resources are fundamental to
livelihood of man and they are a vital component in the well being of
all living organisms be it plants or animals. Aquatic resources are
the resources that take their source from water. They are useful or
potentially useful to humans, which may be in agricultural,
industrial, household, recreational, research, navigation, health and
environmental activities. Virtually all of these human uses require
freshwater. About 97.5% of water on the earth is salt water, leaving
only 2.5% as freshwater. Water resources demand already exceed supply
in the world and as world population continues to rise at an
unprecedented rate, many more imbalances should be expected in the
supply of aquatic resources.
population along the coastal area is 25% of the total population and
population intensity along the coastal region increases pressure on
the utilization of resources leading to habitat destruction,
degradation and fragmentation, and the exponential growth of human
population and progressive industrialization are posing serious
threats to aquatic environment and its resource potential.
components of coastal zone are the coastal waters and the coastal
land regime, which are subjected to intense pollution by diverse
means. The pollutants in aquatic environment are diverse and complex
in nature and the main sources of pollution in Indian coasts are
through effluent discharge from industries, pesticide leaching from
agricultural fields, oil spills from oil tankers and boats, sewage
and waste disposal and retting of coconut husk along estuaries and
reports more than 90% of the industries in India do not have adequate
facilities to treat the effluents and as a result huge quantities of
untreated effluents containing chemicals and wastes are discharged
into the aquatic environment leading to serious consequences in the
Pollution in water body reduces
biodiversity of organisms in the water leaving only those organisms
that can tolerate the pollutants and their effects.
Aquatic plants are very
important in aquatic system in so many ways which include-
Production of oxygen for the water organisms through photosynthesis
Provision of food for aquatic organisms (primary producers)
Direct or indirect provision of shelter for fish and invertebrates
Consolidation of river bed and banks
- Marginal plants provide
resting sites and food source for waste birds
- Provision of
aesthetic appeal to water body
- Provision of spawning medium for
These important plants species are
often exploited by human activities like- encroachment, navigation,
construction, boating and even fishing and cultural purposes. When
this problem of poor exploitation occur the animals depending on
those plants species are affected due to the low production of
primary producers to produce food for the animals and eventually
result in low aquatic productivity. On the other hand, plants
population increases in some aquatic environment due to their
proximity to sewage effluent and agricultural practices
(fertilization) that release nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) to
the water through runoffs. This causes increase in the growth of
aquatic weeds and algae bloom that often cause fish kills and inhibit
the growth of other animals in the water.
fish kills and migration of fish from polluted areas becomes a
regular feature. The Hoogly estuary of West Bengal was once
considered as the spawning ground for the Hilsa
fish but it is not so at present due to environmental degradation.
Episodes of fish kills have been reported from Trombay basin and
Periyar estuary of Kerala. Reduced fish productivity, mass
destruction of aquatic flora and fauna, especially as a result of
industrial toxicants has been reported.
visible diseases are prevalent in fish population and their
incidences have been proposed as an index of pollution. Comparative
toxicity of various pollutants on aquatic organisms under controlled
laboratory conditions has been assessed and it is reported that at
lower concentrations, the toxic materials may not cause the death of
the organisms. However, they may cause stress to the organisms by
interfering with the normal physiological functions. There are
several experimental studies on the sub-lethal effects of pollutants.
A wide array of responses due to sub-lethal effects have been
reported and they are changes in swimming performance, respiration,
phototaxis, equilibrium, decreased heart rate, delayed embryonic
development, disrupted liver function, biomagnifications, blood
chemistry alteration, behavioural changes and tissue damage.
The toxic materials may accelerate
detrimental effects either directly or indirectly on the organisms in
question. Due to the development of more industries, increased
urbanization and reclamation of areas, the environment is under
severe stress and these create an unfavourable situation for aquatic
organisms to live. The pollutants can weaken the organisms making it
susceptible to disease or they cause disease directly. Toxicants or
other stressful situations may enhance the disease.
A correct assessment of the impact of
various kinds of pollutants on the onset of diseases in fish is of
prime importance in fisheries management. A proper monitoring of
coastal pollution and enforcement of strict measures to control
pollution would help enhancing the productivity of the coastal
The challenge of conservation
and management of aquatic resources is to understand the complex
connections among aquatic resources and balance resources with
protection to ensure an adequate supply for the future usages.
Aquatic resources must be conserved and managed for their biological,
economic and recreational values, as well as their natural beauty and
importance to local cultures. In order to accomplish this goal, a
variety of conservation and management methods are used. These
include reducing consumption of resources; protecting them from
contamination or pollution; recycling resources when possible; and
fully protecting, or preserving resources.
C. and S. Susk (2007). Conservation of aquatic resources through the
use of freshwater.
Gautam (1998). Conservation
and management of aquatic resources Daya
P. Bohra, L.
K. Singh (2003). Environment,
pollution and management APH
Arvind Kumar (2003).
Aquatic ecosystems. APH
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A. Laws (2000). Aquatic
pollution: an introductory
Wiley and Sons.
J. Kennish (1998).
Pollution impacts on marine
biotic communities. CRC
Seafood — Fish — Crustacea
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