Pollution Hazards on the People and Ecosystem of the Selected Coir Retting Yards in the Southern Coastal Area Despite the growing awareness and concern, coastal and other aquatic ecosystems continue to be degraded by pollution and unusual forms of utilization. There negative impact on fisheries as shallow water fish habitats such as mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, estuaries, bays, rivers lakes and swamps are biologically the most productive and the most ecologically diverse aquatic environments. These are important fish breeding and nursery grounds where many species reproduce (Maclean, R.H and Jones, 1995). In addition, the productivity of coral reefs is very high. These are fragile ecosystems that are easily degraded by siltation, eutrification, contamination by pollutants, physical damage all of which have negative effects on productivity (Hinrichem, 1998). The existence of sulphide system in the retting zone and the seasonal variation in abundance of the Crustacean fauna, in comparison with the non-retting area were discusses by Abdul Aziz et al., 1982. Environmental pollution due to retting of coconut husk and preliminary studies on closed system retting has been studied by Abbassi and Remani in1982 Mangrove forests have declined significantly in Sri Lanka over the past decades (Mangala de Silva and Padma de Silva, 1998). The main reasons for mangrove loss and degradation have been population pressure, wood extraction, conversion to agriculture and salt production, agricultural and industrial pollution and conversion to coastal aquaculture (Ong, 1995). Environmental degradation is assumed to change diverse communities consisting of many species that are relatively equally abundant, to ‘simple’ assemblages dominated by a few species (Fausch et al., 1990). Aquatic ecosystem and the surrounding watershed which is the basis for using biological monitoring at fishes to asses environmental degradation (Karr, 1987). Fish are useful organisms for measuring environmental degradation for several reasons (Fausch et. al., 1990). So coir retting yards effluents have more pollutants and highly effect for ground water, estuaries, mangroves and coastal ecosystem. Air pollution also prevails in these areas due to the release of hydrogen sulphide, methane and carbon dioxide. Work reported the effect of coir retting on ground water quality and biodiversity in Sri Lanka is scarce. Therefore, this study will be conducted to find out coir retting yards pollution hazard on the people and ecosystem.
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