A total of 15 commercially important varities of fish have so far disappeared over a decade from the Sitakunda sea belt in
because of massive seawater contamination by unsafe shipbreaking, according to a study, reports UNB. Chittagong
The study shows that fishes like River Shad (Tenualusa Ilisha), Jwelled Shad (Ilisha filigera) locally known as Choikka, Mud Skipper (Gobies), Mango Fish (Polynemus Paradysius) known as 'Hriska Machh, Silver Pomfret (Stromateus Chinensis), Bombay Duck (Herpodon Nehereus), Mullet (Mugil Cephalus), Sea Bass (Lates Calcarifer), Anchovy (Coilia Dussumeri, Coilia Ramkorati, Setipinna Taty) are not seen these days.
Besides, some important fishes like Indian Salmon (Polynemus Indicus) better known as Lakhua, Grouper (Epinephelus Lanceolatus) known as Bole Coral, Long Jew (Otolithoides Brunneus) locally known as Lombu Machh, Spanish Mackerel (Cybium Guttatum) known as Maitta and Butter Fish (Psenes Indicus) are also rarely found.
Noman Ahmed Siddiqui, a marine scientist, conducted the study with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The study reveals that some toxic materials like asbestos, cadmium, nickel, mercury, liquid ammonia, damaged paints, enamel thinner and different types of acid and hydrocarbons, including radioactive metals, and toxic substances, are getting into the sea from shipbreaking yards, contaminating its water.
He told the news agency that the toxic substances from the shipbreaking yards are damaging the foods of Plankton variety of fish, including Geoplankton and Phytoplankton.
"In fact, the existence of nearly 40 species of sea fish is now at stake", he added.
As seawaters are getting polluted day by day due to toxic substances, sea fishes and other aquatic creatures are disappearing from the sea, the marine scientist said.
Abdul Kader of Marine Science and Fisheries Institute of Chittagong University said the popular sea fishes are hardly seen at Sitakunda coast due to massive seawater contamination apart from over fishing.
Source: The Financial Express. 3 October 2009