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Department of Zoology Rayat Shikshan Sanstha’s Veer Wajekar Arts, Science and Commerce College, Mahalan Vibhag, Phunde. NAAC Accreditation: ‘B’ UGC sponsored state level seminar on Marine Coastal Biodiversity & Environment Pollution


S. D. Rathod 1 and N. N. Patil 2 Department of Zoology, B. N. Bandodkar College of Science Jnanadweepa, Chendani, Thane 400 601(Maharashtra).

Keywords: Boleopthalmus Dussumieri; Ulhas River Estuary; Thane; food; feeding


The estuarine environment are rich in primary production, therefore numerous fishes migrate to the estuary for feeding purpose. Food and feeding habit of the fish in the estuary is of great importance to understand their life history including growth, breeding and migration and also for management of commercially important fisheries (Bal et al., 1984). Several experts have concentrated on the food and feeding habit of various fish in the world (Day, 1882; Mutsaddi, 1964; Qasim, 1972; Clayton, 1993; Wise, 1994; Connolly, 2004; Kitts, 2004).

The poor fishermen are mostly involved in the inward water fishery; therefore estuary is boon for their livelihood. In the Ulhas River estuary fishermen from localities in the vicinity such as Vehele, Sarang, Surai, Anjur, Diva-Kankavli, Alimghar, Dombivli, and Kasheli from Zone-I are involved in the mudskipper fishery. Fishing attempts were on vogue from monsoon to the early post-monsoon seasons frequenting from thrice to forth

in a fortnight which however diminished towards the late post-monsoon to negligible

level. An effort has been made to ordained food feeding of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. &Val.) from Ulhas River estuary and to determine the fate of mudskipper fishery.

Herbivorous bottom feeder, Boleophthalmus dussumieri (Cuvier & Valencienne, 1837), is an endemic to the Ulhas River estuary, found in the vicinity of Thane City. Boleophthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val.), is the amphibious estuarine fish found flourishing in the mudflats of the of Ulhas River estuary. It is a benthic and burrowing type of fish inhabiting on the neretic mudflats of the Ulhas River estuary. These construct the burrows in the mud and feed on the mudflats. Although they often come out of water they restrict themselves nearby the water for breathing and other activities. Therefore their burrows are always constructed in the limits of intertidal zone (Mutsaddi, 1964; Chung et al. 1991; Clayton, 1993).

A season wise pooled data, from the ambient water, was procured for food and feeding

habit of Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. &Val.), using point method, during the three seasons viz. monsoon (July September, 2004); early post monsoon (October December, 2004) and late post monsoon (January march 2005).

The high feeding intensity of the monsoon season decreased to its lowest level in the late post monsoon. Individuals were well-fed in monsoon, moderately fed in early post monsoon and starving in the late post monsoon season which indicates the high deterioration. Diatoms were the most selected food during the monsoon season. Boleopthalmus dussumieri (Cuv. & Val) was observed for shifting from diatom to algae during early post monsoon, whereas in late post monsoon most of the individuals were starving and found to be foraging on decayed mangrove foliage (Spongy tissue, water storage tissue, Palisade cells and salt glands) and seldom on fish scales and ova. But the extent of the intake of mangrove foliage was very low. Individuals having the gorged or full stomach were found to forage on diatoms predominantly. Present study indicates monsoon and early post monsoon seasons are more healthy in terms of food availability since the estuary is flushed during monsoon precipitation which therefore increasing the primary productivity, encouraging the growth in diatom population. As the effluents from the industries and domestic area in the vicinity are added in the late post monsoon is not diluted it affects greatly the inhabitant organisms in the estuary.


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