Agricultural Science Digest

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Agricultural Science Digest, volume 43 issue 4 (august 2023) : 568-571

Icthyofaunal Diversity of the River Padma at Murshidabad, West Bengal

Rabiul Hoque1, Sanjoy Das2,*, Poulami Biswas1, Ananya Dey1
11Department of Zoology, Berhampore Girls’ College, Berhampore-742 101, Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.
22Department of Zoology, Ecotoxicology, Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Research Laboratory, University of Kalyani, Nadia-741 235, West Bengal, India.
Cite article:- Hoque Rabiul, Das Sanjoy, Biswas Poulami, Dey Ananya (2023). Icthyofaunal Diversity of the River Padma at Murshidabad, West Bengal . Agricultural Science Digest. 43(4): 568-571. doi: 10.18805/ag.D-5714.
Background: Fish are considered as bio-indicators of the health of aquatic ecosystems. Recently, native fish species were declining due to anthropogenic pollution and records of fish availability in a specific area of the Padma Riverine System aided in understanding the current status of fish and which fish need conservation.

Methods: The fish diversity in Murshidabad district’s Padma River was studied for twelve months, from October 2021 to September 2022, with the help of local fishermen. Freshly caught fish is immediately transported to a laboratory, identification is followed by Talwar and Jhingran (1991) and Rahman (2005) techniques.

Result: A total of 49 fish species belonging to 11 orders, 24 families were recorded. Siluriformes (17 species) had the most dominance, followed by cypriniformes (12 species) and anabantiformes. Among the species collected, eight were threatened, thirty were less threatened, one was extremely rare and one had not yet had their status determined. These fishes were classified as threatened (16.33%), less threatened (61.23%) and exceedingly rare (2%). Based on the findings, it is concluded that the Padma River could be used as a refuge for the conservation of Murshidabad’s threatened freshwater fishes.
Fish are aquatic animals that lack limbs with digits.They have paired and unpaired fins which serve various purpose.  Approximately 95% of living fish species are ray-finned fish, belonging to the class Actinopterygii, with around 99% of those being teleosts. Leveque et al., (2008) manifested that researches related to fishes in India are in exploratory stage.

Fish are very varied animals and can be graded in many ways. Fish diversity is composed of three elements: morphological diversity, community availability and relative abundance. Natural freshwater resources abound in India, which is divided into rivers, ponds, ditches, bells, lakes, haors, bars, mudflats and waterways (Shinde et al., 2009). These commodities are supplied by a diverse aquatic life. The River Padma has been used for indigenous fisheries with various fishing implements since ancient times (Tikadar et al., 2021). Several studies have recently been conducted on the Padma River fisheries. However, fish diversification has only been partially synthesized and evaluated. There is no available data on the fish diversity and composition in the Padma River running through Murshidabad district which drains directly into the Bay of Bengal.As a result, the purpose of this research was to look into the fish population of the Padma River at Murshidabad district.
Study area and duration
The Padma River (Fig 1) is a tidal river of West Bengal that originates from the Gangotri glacier and falls into the Bay of Bengal through the Murshidabad district. The specimens were collected from four different sites (Fig 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d) in Padma River running through Murshidabad district, Khandua, Taranagar, Kantakhali and Sammatinagar were the sampling locations. (Table 1) displays the latitude and longitude of four separate sites. This survey was conducted from October 2021 to September 2022 during a 12-month period.

Fig 1: Map showing Padma River (Source-Google search).

Fig 2a: Khandua.

Fig 2b: Taranagar.

Fig 2c: Kantakhali.

Fig 2d: Sammatinagar (Source-Google map).

The procedure of collection of specimens and their identification
Fish specimens were gathered, maintained and identified using morphometric and meristic characteristics. The specimens were set aside in flat plastic jars filled with a 10% buffered formalin solution (Joadder et al., 2015).  According to Talwar and Jhingran (1991) and Rahman (2005), the specimens were identified using morphometric and meristic characteristics.

Table 1: Latitude and longitude of four separate sites.

During the study period, there were a total of 49 species of fish found (Table 2), distributed over 11 orders and 24 families. Out of these, fish  species belonged to the Cyprinidae family, were the most (Table 4 and Fig 4), but fishes from other family like Channidae, Belonidae, Siluridae, Pangasidae, Calaridae, Heteropneustidae, Schibeidae, Bagridae, Sisoridae, Notopteridae, Clupeidae, Mastacembelidae, Anabantibae, Gobiidae were also found. 14 species were regularly found throughout the year, 8 were threatened 30 were less threatened 1 is exceedingly rare and 1 had not yet had their status determined. The most prevalent order among the species that were collected was the Siluriformes (Table 3 and Fig 3) followed by Cypriniformes. Similar type of experiment was also carried out at the Rajsahi area by (Hasan et al., 2016).  In their study the most fish species belongs to the order Cypriniformes were found in the Rajsahi area (Hasan et al., 2016).

Fig 2b: Taranagar.

Fig 2c: Kantakhali.

Table 2: List of fish species found in Padma River at Murshidabad, together with information on their conservation status.

Table 3: No of species according to order.

Table 4: No. of species according to family.

Alam et al., (2021) conducted a research at Dharla river in Bangladesh where they found a total of 76  fish species belonging to 57 genera, 26 families and 8 orders . The most diverse family was the Cyprinidae (14 species). Experiment carried out by Dhiman et al., (2015) at the Passur River ,Bangladesh  reported 95 fish species in  total which  belongs  to 77 genera, 45 families and 14 orders.  Perciformes were the most dominant fish order followed by Siluriformes (17%) and others. According to Saha and Patra (2013) Daomodar River had 46 species of fishes during January 2011-2012 of which   order Cyprinidontiforms was most dominant followed by others. Islam et al., (2013) in their study at Kulsi River of Assam, India found 57 fish species which belong to 16 families. Cyprinidae was the dominant family among all the families recorded
The present authors’ objective of the study is to compile a list of the freshwater fish that can be found in River Padma at Murshidabad district. The fishery resources of the river Padma close to Murshidabad have decreased for a number of reasons. Natural factors include erosion and sedimentation, a decline in river depth, sand blockage, a reduction in water retention and environmental degradation.

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  2. Dhiman, G., Md, S.E.M., Shamima, S. and Nur, A.M. (2015). A preliminary study on fish fauna of the Passur River in Bangladesh. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation. 7(7): 346-353.

  3. Hasan, H., Rahman, M.M., Sharker, M.R., Ali, M.M. and Hossen, S. (2016). Fish diversity and traditional fishing activities of the river Padma at Rajshahi, Bangladesh. World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences. 8(3): 151-157.

  4. 10799/RHITWIK%20CHATTERJEE.pdf?forcedownload=1.

  5., Taranagar, Kantakhali, Sammatinagar/West Bengal.

  6. Islam, M.R., Das, B., Baruah, D., Biswas, S.P. and Gupta, A. (2013). Fish diversity and fishing gears used in the Kulsi River of Assam, India. Annals of Biological Research. 4(1): 289-293.

  7. Joadder, M.A.R., Galib, S.M., Haque, S.M.M. and Chaki, N. (2015). Fishes of the river Padma, Bangladesh: Current trend and conservation status. Journal of Fisheries. 3(2): 259-266.

  8. Leveque, C., Oberdorff, T., Paugy, D., Stiassny, M.L.J. and Tedesco, P.A. (2008). Global diversity of fish (Pisces) in freshwater.  Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment. pp. 545-567.

  9. Rahman, A.K.A. (2005). Freshwater fishes of Bangladesh, Zoological.  Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 18, 394.

  10. Saha, M.K. and Patra, B.C. (2013). Present status of ichthyofaunal diversity of Damodar river at Burdwan district, West Bengal, India. International Journal of Scientific Research Publications. 3(6): 1-11.

  11. Shinde, S.E., Pathan, T.S., Bhandare, R.Y. and Sonawane, D.L. (2009). Ichthyofaunal diversity of Harsool Savangi Dam, District Aurangabad, (MS) India. World J. Fish Marine Sci. 1(3): 141-143.

  12. Tikadar, K.K., Kunda, M. and Mazumder, S.K. (2021). Diversity of fishery resources and catch efficiency of fishing gears in Gorai River, Bangladesh. Heliyon. 7(12): e08478.

  13. Talwar, P.K. and Jhingran, A.G. (1991). Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries (Vol. 2). CRC Press.

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