CMFRI survey reveals rich marine species along Kerala coast

Remarkably, seven species previously unrecorded along the Kerala coast were identified during the survey.
CMFRI team analysing the marine fish landing at Shakthikulangara fishing harbour in Kollam district
CMFRI team analysing the marine fish landing at Shakthikulangara fishing harbour in Kollam district(Photo | Express)

KOCHI: A one-day rapid marine biodiversity assessment survey, conducted by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) on the occasion of the International Biodiversity Day, revealed rich diversity of marine species along the Kerala coast on Wednesday. A total of 468 species were recorded in the survey in which 55 experts from the Marine Biodiversity and Environment Management Division (MBEMD) of the institute documented the diversity of marine catch across 26 major fishery harbours, from Kasaragod in the north to Vizhinjam in the south. 

The survey, covering all major landing centres and harbours simultaneously, focused on the peak landing hours from 5 am to noon, collecting a detailed overview of the marine life brought in by fishing vessels, including trawlers, gillnetters, and ring seiners. 

Popular species like mackerel, sardine, anchovies, lizard fish, and penaeid shrimps, alongside squids and cuttlefish, were also found abundant in the landing centres. The carangidae family, known for its diverse and commercially important fish like jacks and trevallies, emerged as the most diverse group, accounting for 8% of the total catch.

The survey also unveiled the presence of deep-sea dwellers like the oilshark (neohariota pinnata), bramble shark (cchinorhinus brucus), lantern fish, and snake mackerels in the catch. Remarkably, seven species previously unrecorded along the Kerala coast were identified during the survey. 

“Understanding the biodiversity of our marine ecosystems is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. The data gathered will be invaluable in formulating effective strategies to protect and conserve our marine resources for future generations,” said CMFRI director A Gopalakrishnan. 

The assessment survey provides crucial baseline data for understanding the distribution and abundance of marine species, aiding in sustainable fisheries management and conservation efforts, he said. The survey team comprised scientists, technical staff, research scholars and students at CMFRI marine biodiversity division.

468 species recorded

In the one-day rapid marine biodiversity assessment survey, conducted by the CMFRI, 468 species were recorded. As many as 55 experts from the MBEMD of the institute documented the diversity of marine catch across 26 major fishery harbours, from Kasaragod to Vizhinjam

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