Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 60 Issue 1

Assessment of marine debris in the stake net fisheries of Vembanad Lake, Kerala, India

G. Shylaja, V. Kripa, D. Prema and K. S. Abhilash

The stake net fishery of Panambukad in the main channel area of Vemband Lake, Kerala was studied during the first fortnight of August  2014. The observations indicated that the average catch including the marine debris ranged from 1.04 to 2.04 kg net-1 day-1 with an average of 1.34 kg net-1 day-1. The percentage of marine debris in the stake nets ranged from 42.68 to 73.4%. Plastic items formed 97% by weight and 99% by number of the total marine litter. The observed litter stuff was categorized as per UNEP system of classification of marine litter where, they are first identified based on their material composition (litter codeeg. PL) and then by their form (RL classes). Items found in the collection included plastic covers (PL07, RL15), metal cap (ME02, RL01), plastic bottle (PL02, RL02), fishing net (PL20, RL05), plastic cup and food containers (PL06, RL09), thermocol (FP 04, RL13), rubber sheet (RB05, RL28), plastic sacks (PL24, RL23), diaper (OT02, RL18) etc. Among them, plastic covers were most dominant and their average number and weight net-1 day-1 was 28 nos and 985 g respectively. The study also showed positive signs of decline in plastic bottles as a major litter item due to its targeted collection by recycling industry within a span of three years. In a survey conducted among the stake net fishers, there was consensus on the view that plastic litter in Vembanad Lake has increased during the last 10 years and this has affected the resources and the fishery. The stakeholders also expressed their willingness to pay for restoration of the fishery resources of the lake. The study recommends the need to establish proper solid waste management systems in coastal villages, to reduce the use of plastics, and provide facilities for disposal of litter which gets collected in stake nets and to increase the awareness among the public about the impacts of marine debris on ecosystem and resources.


Marine debris, plastic litter, fishery decline, solid waste management,  Introduction

Date : 30-07-2018