"WATER RESOURCES AND AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY CONTRIBUTING SOCIO-ECONOMIC"
Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt 1629 WATER RESOURCES AND AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY CONTRIBUTING SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF BANGLADESH Md.Sohrab Uddin Sarker Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ABSTRACT Bangladesh is rich in water resources of 6564 square kilometer consisting running and closed freshwater in the main land and 5,518 square kilometer of estuarine water and open sea water of the Bay of Bengal to the south. Closed water reserved are haors, baors, lakes, ponds, deghees and ditches in plain land mass and Kaptai and Bogakine Lakes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The running water are large rivers of the Padma, the Jamuna and the Meghna and their tributaries, Karnaphuli, Kushiara, Dhaleshari, hilly springs, drainages, canals, etc finally discharging to the Bay of Bengal. Moreover, rain and flood water are also available seasonally. Brackish water consists of the Sundarban mangrove forests and numbers of islands and islets in the southern coastal offshore and 200 naughty kilometer of marine water in the Bay of Bengal. Kaptai Lake contributes greater amount of electricity generation and Bogakine Lake and springs developed for ecotourism. Ground water is used mainly for irrigation in the crop field, drinking and sanitation purposes. The surface water carries out large amount of erodated soil sediments of inorganic and organic nutrient to the cultivated land and offshore areas. Water is more or less full of aquatic living biodiversity resources particularly in flood and rainy seasons and even through out the year. About 6 species of crabs, 46 species of shrimps and prawn 600 species of freshwater, estuarine and sea water fishes, 5 frogs and toads, 27 turtles and tortoises, one salt water and 2 freshwater crocodiles, 3 monitor lizards, 200 species of migratory and 100 of resident birds, 7 dolphins and whales have so far been recorded from there. Planktons, annelids, mollusks, insects provide food to fish and fisheries components. Biodiversity resources contribute protein demand of the people and play a vital role in the ecosystem of the country. In recent years, river and coastal water are highly contaminated by heavy metal toxicity of industrial residual discharge and oil spills of ships and other vessels. It creates health hazard and adverse effects and even killing of biodiversity. International assistant and cooperation are mostly essential in this aspect. Keywords: Haor, Baor, Beel, Deghee, Donga. 1630 Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt INTRODUCTION Bangladesh is a deltaic island of the Bay of Bengal rich water and aquatic bio-diversity resources throughout the year particularly in monsoon and winter seasons. The fresh water mainly composed of haor ‘a large natural shallow water basins of 30-60 square kilometer area’ of Sunamgqanj, Maulavibazar, Sylhet, Netrokona districts; baor ‘a large natural shallow water area comparatively lesser than haor’ in Jessore and Faridpur districts and beels ‘a small natural shallow water body’ scattered in several low lying districts and numerous new and old ponds and deghees (large pond) excavated everywhere in the country for drinking, bathing and fish culture purposes. Three largest rivers of the Padma, Jamuna, Meghna and their tributaries flow north- south direction carrying running water with sufficient nutrient throughout the year. Moreover, a number of water falls and lakes are in Moulavibazar and Chittagong hilly districts. Heavy rainfalls occur particularly in rainy and summer seasons bringing sediment from hilly erosion increasing fertility of the agricultural field and productivity. Ground water is also available for drinking and irrigation purposes but some of them are contaminated by arsenic creating health hazard of the local people (NCS Part-1 Report 1995, Sarker and Hossain 1997). Bay of Bengal of the Southern part of the country contributes estuarine and salt water resources. Water bodies are full of biological diversity e.g., annelids, mollusks, insects, helminthes in invertebrate and fish, amphibians, aquatic birds and aquatic mammals in vertebrate groups (Sarker 1980-83, 1982, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000a&b). Besides, planktons are available in fresh and marine water. Some areas, water is presently contaminated by heavy metals from dyeing industries and oil spills from ship braking industries and on going vessels (Sarker 1991, 1992a&b, 2004, Sarker and Sarker 1986, and 1988). Running water of the Rivers Karnaphuli and Padma is heavily contaminated by industrial influents of factories from the river banks. Present objective is to study the water and water resources in Bangladesh perspective and its future prospective. METHODS AND MATERIALS The data of water and its resources were collected all over the country by direct field visits since 1989. Field visits were made in flood, rainy and dry seasons of the year where data on water quantification, resources assessment, pollutant density and sources of origin were being investigated. Besides, local aged people were interviewed for present and past status of water resources, reports of ANGOs, published information and news media were also used in preparation of the present article for water quality and quantity, pollutants and resources. Data are also available from city corporations and town authorities. Climatological data were collected from weather broadcasting agencies. Moreover, remote sensing water map, water area map with their seasonal variation and quantification were also contributed to the article. Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt 1631 Estuarine and coastal offshore areas e.g. the Sundarban mangrove forests, coastal islands and islets were observed by manually driven wooden boats and mechanical vessels e.g. trawlers, launches, ships, etc. All collected data were entered in the field data sheets and finally were analyzed in computer. OBSERVATION AND RESULTS Water and Bio-resources Water is the most important component of living and non living materials. Life is the source of water. Bangladesh is one the water resource country in the world. About 60% plain land used to go underwater in big flood season and even the whole plain land mass is over flooded in subsequent years as natural phenomena. During flood and heavy rainy season maximum plain land mass remains under water for 3-4 months. Rural people have to only way of manual driving transportation by locally made wooden boats, excavated palm tree locally called ‘Donga’ and ‘Bhura’ made by 3/4 banana plants attached side by side by jute thread or bamboo sticks support one or more person or domestic animal like goat, dog, fowl, etc . In flood and rainy seasons aquatic biodiversity e.g. fish, frogs, turtles, snakes, insects breed and rebreed in water provide important protein supply to the local people. During the wet seasons haors, baors, beels, ponds, deghees, canals, drainages remain full of water and water biodiversity resources. Biggest haors are Hakaluki 50X70 square kilometer water area of Fenchugonj-Sylhet district, Tanguar of 100 square kilometer and Pashwar 25 square kilometer of Sunamgonj, Hailar 30-50 square kilometer of Srimangol, Moulavbaxar districts; Baors of 40x50 square kilometer of Jessore districts. Beside, numerous beels, ponds and deghees, dithes are important sources of fresh water utilized mainly for bathing, domestic uses, and fish culture. Deghees are also large old ponds made by local Jaminder (Land lord, now abolished) mainly for bathing and drinking purposes of local people. In the passed these dehees were abandoned facilitated the growing of small aquatic vegetation first then floating ones followed by herbs and small wooden trees over the surface of water and become thicker and thicker and hard so there created habitats for wild animal like monitor lizards, snakes-python, king cobra, small carnivores e.g. jackals, foxes, civets, jungle and fishing cats, mongoose live and feed there and domestic animals like goats, cow could also easily graze over there. Carnivore fish, climber fish, cat fish like magur, singhi live in water under thick cover over and they climb out on land in rainy day or night in group lines and local people used to catch them by hand. Kaptai is the largest man made lake of 567.97 square kilometer of water body in Rangamati Hill district is mainly contributed for electricity generation, covering most of the country areas. Bogakine a natural lake the second largest one of the country situated on the top of hill of many meter above the ground but lake is less bio- resources except only few fish but draws attention of tourists in winter season. Large rivers the Padma, Jamuna, Meghna, Kushiara, Karnafulli, etc. and their tributaries 1632 Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt carry water over the country from the Himalaya of India and Nepal to the south into the Bay of Bengal. Many of them are dried in dry season mainly due to Farraka Barrage of India causes sever environmental impacts in agriculture and climate. There are 5,518.square kilometer of estuarine /brackish water and about 200 naughty kilometer of open sea water of the Bay of Bengal. Estuarine causes high and low tides of 0.5- 2 meter height every 24 hours in the Sundarban mangrove forest of 6200 sq. kilometer alone with other coastal areas 710 kilometer long. Bio-Resources Estuarine and marine water are important natural fisheries and fish resources and recent decades are used for fisheries cultures like fish, shrimp, prawn, crabs, etc. for foreign and local trade. Corals Tomascik (1997) recorded 68 corals from the supra, inter, and sub-tidal zones of the St. Martin Island Some corals are encrusted on the boulders at the island. The genera Porites, Goniopora, Cyphastrea and goniastrea were abundance. Corals are heavily exploited causing rapid declining of these resources from the St. Martin. Growing of awareness among the fishermen and local community about the harm they do the ecosystem of resources which are sustaining their livelihood. Mollusks About 301 species of marine mollusks are recorded from the Bay of Bengal of which 187 from St. Martin Island and other from freshwater areas (Ali 1975, Ahmed et al 1990 and Sarker 2006). The pearl producing and cowries molluscs like Pinctada sp. are also available in Bangladesh. Among the molluscs Trochus sp. and Conus sp. are commercially very important. The species should be used in mariculture practices along the off shore islands. The deep sea species under class Cephalopoda recorded from Bay of Bengal (NCSP-1-2001and Sarker 2006). Crabs There are 17 species of marine and 6 freshwater crabs so far reported from estuarine, marine and freshwater water (Paul 1996, IUCN and Sarker 2004). Among them mud crab is one of the largest one, sells in local markets and exports foreign countries. Crabs are flattened in culture and rearing pond for increasing the size and weight for exporting. Fishermen collect mud crabs from estuarine water in the rivers of the Sundarbans and others areas along the coast as well as the muddy bank of brackish water rivers by baited hooks, Long hook and Behundi Net (Sarker 2004). Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt 1633 Shrimps About 70,000 km² marine water of which 10,240 km² are used as shrimp and fishing areas. Sixty seven species of shrimps and prawns are recorded of which approximately 35 from the estuaries and marine water off Bangladesh coast (Hawlader (1976). Shrimps occur in the offshore and the deep sea where salinity varies from 15 to 20 ppt. Shrimps are processed at Chittagong and Mongolia ports for shipment and by air at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet air ports for exporting. Echinoderms Eight species of echinoderms are so far been identified from the coastal areas of Bangladesh by NCSP1 team member 1995-1997. The most of them are used in education and research purposes in the colleges and universities. Eel and Chewa Eels and Chewa (small eel like fish) are also important component of marine fishery resources. Local people and fishermen collect the eels by special type of nets, hooks and hands from shallow water areas of the sea coast like crabs for sale in markets and export. Fish and Offshore fishery Four hundred seventy five species of marine fish are known to occur in the coastal and open sea water of Bangladesh. Among the marine fish Rup chanda, loita, catfish, swordfish, hilsha (shad), phaisa, chela, tona, sardin, poa, baila, kaika, potka, bombey duck, ribbon fish, mackerel, thead pomfret, skates and ray, etc etc. are important. Important yearly product estimated 4000-12000 tons processed for exporting in 1974 (Sada, 1991) and 160,000 tons (Saetre, 1981, Shafi and Quddus 1982). Besides, different species of sharks are fished for fins to export. In February–April 06, large number of tiger sharks are caught in the fishing nets and dried for selling to tribal people. In winter from November to mid March fishermen dry all kinds of fish in the sun along the coast where they fish in the sea. Dried fish are processed for Chittagong from where distributed to local markets and ships for export (Sarker 2004, Sarker and Shafi 1994). Herpetofauna Three species of frogs and one toad were recorded from the Sundabans and 9 species from main land freshwater.(Sarker 1980-83 & 2004). Skipper frogs were the highest number and had wider distribution in the mangrove forests areas. Three hundred fifty five green frogs were recorded in the mainland along the outer fringe of the four ranges of the Sundarbans. Of the reptilian species 3 were crocodiles, 5 sea turtles, 1 batagur, 3 monitor lizards and 11 sea snakes occur in Bangladesh water. Crocodiles Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) were numerous towards the end of seventeen and beginning of eighteen century. In the past decades the population of the 1634 Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt crocodiles declined very rapidly. In recent years population recorded 200 by Khan (1982), 62 sighting report by Sarker (1980-1983) and 40 by Sarker and Shafi (1994).The freshwater crocodile already extinct and Ghorial is few and on the verse of extinction. 5 species of sea turtles occur along the coastal areas of Bangladesh like Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), River terrapin (Batagur baska) and Leatherback turtles (Lepidochelys coriacea). During fishing, sea turtles particularly the Ridley were caught in the fishing nets and they are killed or died there. Remaining live turtles, some of them consumed and sole (Sarker 1982, 2000, NCSP-1 2001, Gani 2000). Grey monitor (Varanus bengalensis) and Yellow monitor (V. flaviscence) distributed in the plain wood land and forest periphery and watered areas. The ring monitor (V. salvator) occurs in the Sundarbans and other mangrove forests. Snakes Of the11 species of sea snakes recorded from the coast and deep sea. King cobra is the most deadly poisonous snakes and python the largest non-poisonous one occur in the mangrove and plain and hilly wetland forests and besides, 7 species of snakes occur in freshwater (Sarker 1999). In winter, hundreds of sea snakes were caught in the fishing nets and they died either in the nets or in the fishing boats while they are kept over night along with fish. All dead snakes are thrown on the fish land spots. Alive ones were killed or died there. Aquaculture Resources Shrimps, Crabs and Fishes In the shrimps culture, Penaeus mondon covers 80% and the rest are P.indicus, Metapenaeus moncerceros, M.breviornis. Number of shrimp hatchery and rearing culture are 101530 and the areas are 133670.70 ha (Paul 1996). Shrimp fry is collected usually by local poor people in the shallow water of the offshore areas by different types of nets from January to April and August. Collectors collect only shrimp fry and reject the other marine animal fries where they die cause huge loss of the fry and young of the marine biodiversity resources. Government recently imposed ban on such type of shrimp collection for protecting them. Production of shrimp was 35.34 thousand metric tons and earned Taka 382.05 core. Aves and Mammals Fisheries fries particularly shrimp and prawn are collected by nylon thin nets by a number local poor people for their livelihood in the estuarine and coastal water all the year and supply to the hatcheries for culture there. During collection of shrimp fries a large number of fish fries are also caught and rejected to the sandy bank where they all died and it causes great loss of biodiversity resources throughout the year. It needs to be stopped. Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt 1635 During dry season water reduce to 60 to 90 % and even dried out in some areas used for cultivation irrigation. Water areas provide fish resources and one the protein resource for the people throughout the year. Culture fisheries like freshwater and marine fish, shrimp and prawn, frogs, mollusks are usually imported out side earning foreign currency for socio-economic development (Sarker and Hossain1997 & Sarker et al 2000, Sarker and Mollah (1996). In winter season 100 species of migratory birds of millions individuals including water fowl, storks, ibises, spoonbills, waders, eagles, kites, come to visit wetland areas every year in search of favorable habitats and food first along the coastal water and then followed inland water of Bangladesh . They begin to come in August at the advent of winter, become highest concentration in December and January and decline from March and begin to return from April and finally left in May June every year. Many of them have failed return their origin due shooting, killing, trapping, poisoning, etc. by local professional hunters, shooters and trappers in spite of existing Wildlife Preservation Order which strongly prohibited of killing of migrants and other wildlife both water and terrestrial condition. About 9 species of porpoise, dolphins and whale occur in off shore coastal estuarine water of the Bay of Bengal on the southern part of Bangladesh. Among them only one species of Genetic dolphin (Planista gangetuicus) occurs in fresh water rivers and sometimes in estuarine rivers of the Sundarbans. Impacts and threats Unscientific implementation of projects e.g. FDC, FCDI, Mahuri, coastal embankment, and dam across the rivers Padma-Farraka Dam of India. Oil spill, industrial wastes, e.g. urea, chromium, mercury, agrochemical, insecticide, herbicide, rodenticides, etc. over floodding, mangrove destruction, ship braking, over exploitation of shrimps, fish and other marine resources. Hunting, trapping, capturing and killing by professional poachers assisting decline of biodiversity of the marine and mangrove resources. Destroying of the nests of sea turtles by erosion of rive, canal, banks and chars, tide and inundation. Drainage of agrochemical, siltation, erosion, cyclone, sea level rise are enhancing the problem of the marine wildlife like heherpeto-fauna, birds and mammals for future. Threatened Marine and Estuarine Species Eighteen species of marine fish are listed in threatened categories both globally and nationally by 1UCN, Bangladesh 2000 (Table 1). 1636 Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt Table 1. Nationally Threatened Group of Marine Animal Diversity of Bangladesh Major Group Threatened Category Fish CR EN VU DD LR Total Marine fish -- 1 3 -- -- 4 Reptile 1 4 -- -- -- 10 Bird -- 2 4 4 6 6+10+ Mammal -- 2 1 -- -- 3 Total group 1 9 8 4 6 18+10 ** Sources: Sarker and Sarker 1988 Among the fish Hammer headed shark, Pristis microdon is endangered and Black shark, Carcharinus limbatus, Hippocampus kuda and Thannus obesus are vulnerable globally. The Green frogs are endangered and Bull frogs are threatened locally. In reptiles Saltwater crocodile, Crocodilus porosus is critically endangered nationally and all sea turtles are threatened globally. Salt water crocodiles are vulnerable globally and Critically Endangered nationally Grey and yellow monitors are also threatened. In bird species, 4 are endangered, vulnerable and 4 species are data deficient and 2 mammals are endangered and 1 vulnerable. CONSERVATION ISSUE The following recommendation may be considered for conservation of fresh and marine water and their resources; - Creation of awareness in the local communities and stakeholders, - Strategy and action plan, - Incorporating local communities in the conservation and management programs, - Nursery, horticulture, aqua-culture, etc. practices for their livelihood. - Training to the forest, fishermen and stakeholders adjacent to the resources, - Research and monitoring of water and bio-resources, - Prohibition of sand lifting, hill cutting, erosion and jhum culture, etc., - Activation of law inforcing agency, - Protection of nesting ground of sea turtle from human and predator animals. Beautiful and colored corals, molluscs, starfish, coral fish, tiger, Saw headed and hammer headed sharks, skates rays, etc. Crocodile, sea turtles, monitor lizards, marine snakes, diving sea birds and dolphins in the marine aquarium might be attractive to the tourists. Thirteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 13 2009, Hurghada, Egypt 1637 Need cooperation of the relevant international organizations and NGOs in this field. CONCLUSION Aquatic biological diversity is an important resource of Bangladesh. Aquaculture practices are contributing a lot in supporting economic development of the country. REFERENCES Ahmed, A.T.A. 1990.Studies on the identity and abundance of Molluscan Fauna of the Bay of Bengal. Report, Bangldesh Agriculture Research Council, Dhaka. Ahmed, M. K., Ameen, M and Sultana, S.2005. Impact of Global Climate Change and Variability on Fisheries Resources of Bangladesh. J.NOAMI 22(1):1-24. Ali, S. 1975. Notes on collection of shells from St. Martin’s Island.Bangladesh. J. Zool. 3(2):153-154. Goni, M.O.2000. Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) of the Sundarbans Coast.Tigerpaper 22(3):7-11. Hossain, M. L. and Sarker, M. S. U. 1997. 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