LENGTH COMPOSITION OF COMMERCIALLY IMPORTANT FIN FISHES DURING MONSOON PERIOD AT HOOGHLY-MATLAH ESTUARINE SYSTEM, WEST BENGAL, INDIA
A study has been carried out to know the length composition of commercially important fishes at Hooghly-Matlah estuarine system of West Bengal, India during monsoon period (June-September 2013). A total of 28 commercially important species were recorded during the study. The most commercially important species of the Hooghly-Matlah estuary were recorded Tenualosa ilisha, Harpadon nehereus, Otolithoides pama, Trichiurus lepturus, Coilia ramcarati, Chelon parsia, Lates calcarifer, Polynemus paradiseus, Sillaginopsis panijus and Eleutheronema tetradactylum. The main means of exploitation was found to be the bag net, trawl net, large seine, small seine, purse seine, drift net, lift net, cast net, set-gill net, set-barrier, traps, and hooks and lines. The species like Tenualosa ilisha, Otolithoides pama, Lates calcarifer, Setipinna phasa, Trichiurus lepturus, Sillago sihama, Sardinella longiceps were exploited below their size at first maturity. The species like Polynemus paradiseus, Chelon parsia, Harpadon nehereus, Coilia ramcarati, Johnius dussumieri, Lutjanus fulviflamma, Chelon macrolepis, Scomberomorus guttatus, Sillaginopsis panijus, Osteogeneiosus militaris were found to be exploited in mature stages. Reasons of reduction in fish catch and length were reported to be indiscriminate catches of juveniles and matured fishes by small mesh nets, habitat changes, pollution, the decline in water quality and destructive means of fishing practices.
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