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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors affecting timing and size of runs of hilsa shad (Hilsa ilisha) in Bangladesh and Pakistan Das, Nitya Nanda


Data were gathered in 1983 and 1984 on the Hilsa fishery in the Meghna River in Bangladesh, and on factors related to its seasonal variation, including effort as estimated by weekly counts of fishing boats, and landings as estimated by counts of fish offloaded at Chandpur. Historical data were also analyzed concerning factors influencing annual variations in Hilsa landings from the Padma River of the Ganges (1967-1974) and from the Indus River of Pakistan (1968-1982). Rail shipments were good indicators of landings. No significant relationship was observed between riverine Hilsa landings and fishing intensity. Rainfall, mean water level and maximum air temperature had no obvious influence on annual variations in seasonal timing of Hilsa runs in the Padma river of the Ganges. Rainfall two years earlier had a significant negative relationship with annual variation of Hilsa landings, in both the Padma River and in the Indus River. Mechanisms regulating this negative association between landings and rainfall may be that Hilsa are 1+ year old when they are first recruited to the fishery, and the survival of eggs and fry is minimum in years when there is a very high rainfall. In the Ganges and Indus rivers, annual landings were not closely correlated, and appear to be dependent in part on earlier rainfall conditions within each region. This dependency offers a means of rough forecast of annual harvest on the basis of previous rainfall data.

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