Plastic pollution from fishing nets threatening Ganges wildlife, study finds


Team Udayavani, Nov 30, 2020, 12:22 PM IST

New Delhi: Plastic pollution from discarded fishing gear in the Ganges River poses a threat to wildlife such as the critically endangered three-striped roofed turtle and the endangered Ganges river dolphin, according to an international team including researchers from the Wildlife Institute of India.

In the study, published in the journal Science of The Total Environment, surveys along the length of the river, from the mouth in Bangladesh to the Himalayas in India, show levels of waste fishing gear are highest near to the sea.

The researchers noted that fishing nets — all made of plastic — were the most common type of gear found.

Interviews with local fishers showed high rates of fishing equipment being discarded in the river — driven by short gear lifespans and lack of appropriate disposal systems, they said.

“The Ganges River supports some of the world”s largest inland fisheries, but no research has been done to assess plastic pollution from this industry, and its impacts on wildlife,” said Sarah Nelms from the University of Exeter in the UK.

“Ingesting plastic can harm wildlife, but our threat assessment focussed on entanglement, which is known to injure and kill a wide range of marine species,” Nelms said.

The researchers used a list of 21 river species of “conservation concern” identified by the Wildlife Institute of India in Uttarakhand.

They combined existing information on entanglements of similar species worldwide with the new data on levels of waste fishing gear in the Ganges to estimate which species are most at risk.

“There is no system for fishers to recycle their nets. Most fishers told us they mend and repurpose nets if they can, but if they can”t do that the nets are often discarded in the river,” said Nelms.

“Many held the view that the river ”cleans it away”, so one useful step would be to raise awareness of the real environmental impacts,” she said.

The findings offer hope for solutions based on “circular economy” where waste is dramatically reduced by reusing materials, according to Professor Heather Koldewey, from the Zoological Society of London(ZSL).

“A high proportion of the fishing gear we found was made of nylon 6, which is valuable and can be used to make products including carpets and clothing,” Koldeway said.

“Collection and recycling of nylon 6 has strong potential as a solution because it would cut plastic pollution and provide an income,” she added.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Hijab row: Not going to budge from our stand under any circumstance, says MLA Raghupati Bhat

Multi-floor structure collapses in Mumbai; 6 rescued

Should handle COVID-19 third wave with ‘total seriousness’: Thaawar Chand Gehlot

No one can do anything without JD(S) after 2023 K’taka Assembly poll: H D Kumaraswamy

Andhra Pradesh to get 13 more new districts

WHO: Record weekly COVID cases last week but deaths stable

Cong, Communists ‘misusing’ Guru’s name, says Minister Sunil Kumar


Related Articles More

WHO: Record weekly COVID cases last week but deaths stable

Immune response induced by Omicron effectively neutralise Delta variant: ICMR study

Pfizer begins testing omicron-matched COVID shots in adults

Will an Omicron-specific vaccine help control COVID? There’s one key problem

A healthier heart can protect your brain too. 5 lifestyle changes to prevent dementia

MUST WATCH

Mysore student led NCC at the Republic Day 2022 Parade held in Delhi

NEWS BULLETIN 26-02-2022

Stunning motorcycle display by BSF all-women biker team at India’s 73 Republic Day parade

Siddaramaiah Talk’s About Election

Snake Climb the Wall of the Building


Latest Additions

Hijab row: Not going to budge from our stand under any circumstance, says MLA Raghupati Bhat

Hassan: Upper caste people order Dalits not to be part of religious ceremony

Multi-floor structure collapses in Mumbai; 6 rescued

Should handle COVID-19 third wave with ‘total seriousness’: Thaawar Chand Gehlot

No one can do anything without JD(S) after 2023 K’taka Assembly poll: H D Kumaraswamy

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.