KOCHI: Backwaters in Kerala are witnessing a sharp increase in salinity, shows a recent study.
According to the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos), the primary cause of the phenomenon is the increasing temperature and the resultant rise in sea level. Kufos director (Extension) Daisy C Kappan told reporters here that an inspection conducted at Panangad showed salinity in the area increased to 22 parts per thousand (PPT), much higher than 16-17 PPT recorded in last summer.
“The purpose of the study was to find whether the water is suitable for aquaculture, or not,” she said. Kufos Vice-chancellor A Ramachandran said certain fish and octopus species had started moving to the backwaters from deep sea.
“Sardines, which move in shoal, are now found in backwaters also. Jelly fish also has started appearing in water bodies close sea, due to the saline water. Inadequate rainfall, which prevents flow of stagnant water from rivers to backwaters and sea, is another cause of the increase in salinity,” he said. “We are planning to start a exclusive study in Vembanad lake, which has been shrinking over the years due to encroachment and land-filling,” he said.