Finfish constituents of shrimp trawl low value by-catch off Visakhapatnam, India
With the increase in number of shrimp trawlers operating in Visakhapatnam waters at depths ranging from 20 to 100 m and occasionally even upto 200 m, the problem of by-catch also gradually increasing in this region. Thus it is important to know the finfish species composition in the trawl by-catches in order to develop appropriate management and conservation programs for juvenile finfishes. A total of 280 species of low value finfishes belonging to 80 families and 28 Orders were reported in the trawl by-catches off Visakhapatnam during the study period 2014-17. Moreover, two cardinalfishes namely Apogonichthyoides uninotatus is reported as a new record to the Indian waters and A. pseudotaeniatus has been recorded for the first time from east coast of India. The present paper also compares the constituents of finfish reported during early 90s thus reflecting the changes in species composition. About 112 species of finfishes belonging to 14 families viz. Rhinobatidae, Elopidae, Ophichthidae, Muraenesocidae, Kurtidae, Pomacentridae, Blenniidae, Acropomatidae, Cepolidae, Ephippidae, Datnioidae, Lactariidae, Citharidae and Plueronectidae were represented in by-catch of 1990, and now the representatives of these families have become very rare and could not be collected during the present study period. This study is useful in examining the factors influencing the structure of fish communities and fish species that are important indicators of ecological health.
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