The following manuscript is a scientific output of the Indian Sub-continent NANO Regional Project.

NANO Alumni Shaju S.S.,  Nandini Menon, Grinson George and colleagues  published the following article in the Regional Studies in Marine Science:

Effect of Mariculture on bio-optical properties and water quality of Gulf of Mannar and Palk Baya

S.S. et al. (2019) Regional Studies in Marine Science, Vol. 29, 100618, DOI 10.1016/j.rsma.2019.100618


Marine cage aquaculture is gaining importance in India, due to its contribution as an alternate livelihood to coastal communities and also because of its export value. Water quality is the most important determinant for sustainable marine cage farming. Nutrient enrichment in coastal waters results in increased occurrence of algal blooms. A mariculture practice makes the coastal waters eutrophic due to increased input of nitrogen and phosphorous, ultimately leading to bloom. A phytoplankton bloom dominated by Trichodesmium species was detected outside mariculture cages located in Gulf of Mannar during August, 2015, which possibly interfered with fish gill function. High nutrient and chlorophyll a (Chl-a) (29.97 mg/m3) concentration were observed during peak bloom period. Three groups of phytoplankton were identified — diatoms (24 species with, 14 centric species and 10 pennate species), dinoflagellates (10 species) and cyanobacteria (one species). Stable salinity condition and the depletion in nutrient concentration due to higher primary production might have triggered the bloom of Trichodesmium. In-situ bio-optical measurements were also made to understand the spatial and temporal variation and effect of bloom on the optical components. Our study is a preliminary step to understanding the in-situ bio-geochemical and bio-optical characteristics of coastal waters of Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay, which could aid in the management of cage culture sites.


  • Algal bloom
  • Mariculture
  • Trichodesmium
  • Bio-optical properties
  • Gulf of Mannar

Link for the publication here

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