International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 4 Issue 6 2014- May 2014    Pages: 1168-1176  <<Previous    Next>>

Impact of hydroelectric projects on finfish diversity in the Sharavathi River estuary of Uttara Kannada District, central west coast of India

Author Information:

Mahima Bhat1, 2, V. N. Nayak2, M. D. Subash Chandran1 and T. V. Ramachandra1

1-Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,
2-Dept of Marine Biology Kodibag, Karwar


Estuarine areas, associated with high biological productivity and rich fishery, are also often densely settled by humans. Seldom was any comprehensive study ever made in India on the impact on estuarine fin fish diversity due to execution of hydroelectric projects in the upstream of rivers. The study here in the Sharavathi River estuary in central west coast of India illustrates how too low salinity conditions, resultant of incessant fresh water releases form upstream hydro-electric projects, created in the estuary conditions unfavorable for many high and medium stenohaline fishes retaining only euryhaline ones tolerant of wide ranges of salinity and perhaps adding few species characteristic of low salinity to fresh water conditions. Scope of EIA on dam projects should be expanded to include even estuaries and immediate marine areas.

Key words: Sharavathi River estuary, Hydro-electric projects, Salinity, Finfish diversity.


© 2014 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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