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Ghost fishing gear threatening aquatic life in the Ganges by Sahana Ghosh December 24,2020   |  Source: Scroll.in

The endangered Ganges river dolphin and species of threatened freshwater turtle and otter are wildlife “most at risk” from getting tangled up in waste fishing gear adrift in the transboundary Ganges river system, research has said.

Scientists associated with the Sea to Source expedition carried out a biodiversity threat assessment of Gangetic wildlife species most at risk from entanglement in abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear in nine sampling sites along the river in Bangladesh coast in the Bay of Bengal to upstream in the Himalayas in Rishikesh.

“Waste and active fishing gear impact aquatic wildlife in similar ways, but what we know about them differs quite significantly. Generally, we know more about how entanglement in active gear (called “by-catch”) affects species because fishers encounter the animals more frequently while checking their nets, etc,” study author Sarah Nelms, University of Exeter, Cornwall, told Mongabay-India.

Although ingestion of debris can pose a risk to fauna, the threat assessment focused on entanglement because entanglement in plastic pollution, such as waste fishing gear, is known to cause mortality and injury in various aquatic vertebrate species. “This has clear welfare implications for the individual

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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