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Culture Possibilities of Certain Brackishwater Species at Freshwater: A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Salinity Intrusion Prone Areas of Indian Sundarban Delta

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  • WorldFish (India)

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Salinity intrusion into coastal mainland or freshwater habitat because of recent climatic changes is exacerbating production risks and challenging the coping capacity of freshwater fish farmers of Sundarban coastal delta in India. Hence, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the survival and growth performance of certain commercially important brackish water species in freshwater, and subsequent low salinities (5 g l−1 and 10 g l−1). Species like Scatophagus argus, Chelon parsia, Terapon jarbua, Etroplus suratensis, and Penaeus monodon showed the highest specific growth rate (SGR) at 10 g l-1 salinity. However, the growth rates were not differed significantly (P>0.05) compared to freshwater. Chelon planiceps and Mystus gulio exhibited the highest SGR at 5 g l-1 salinity, although growth rates of the fish were not differed significantly (P>0.05) with freshwater treatments. Comparable survival and growth of all species in the freshwater condition indicated their ability of healthy acclimation at freshwater ponds. Therefore, these euryhaline fish species can be promoted in the Indian Sundarban for culture in freshwater ponds as climate-resilient adaptation strategies. This study could be useful in decision making during species and farm site selection which eventually will minimize the risks from total crop loss during saltwater inundation.
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Aquaculture Studies, 22(2), AQUAST657
http://doi.org/10.4194/AQUAST657
Published by Central Fisheries Research Institute (SUMAE) Trabzon, Turkey.
P R O O F
R E S E A R C H P A P E R
Culture Possibilities of Certain Brackishwater Species at
Freshwater: A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Salinity
Intrusion Prone Areas of Indian Sundarban Delta
Sourabh Kumar Dubey 1,*, Raman Kumar Trivedi 1 , Bimal Kinkar Chand2
1Faculty of Fishery Sciences, Department of Aquatic Environment Management, West Bengal University of Animal and
Fishery Sciences, Kolkata, India.
2Directorate of Research, Extension and Farms, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Kolkata, India.
Article History
Received 05 May 2021
Accepted 18 October 2021
First Online 21 October 2021
Corresponding Author
Tel.: +919830094171
E-mail: sourabhkumardb@gmail.com
Keywords
Saline water inundation
Brackishwater fish culture
Sundarban
Climate Resilient Adaptation Strategy
Abstract
Salinity intrusion into coastal mainland or freshwater habitat because of recent
climatic changes is exacerbating production risks and challenging the coping capacity
of freshwater fish farmers of Sundarban coastal delta in India. Hence, an experiment
was conducted to evaluate the survival and growth performance of certain
commercially important brackish water species in freshwater, and subsequent low
salinities (5 g l1 and 10 g l1). Species like Scatophagus argus, Chelon parsia, Terapon
jarbua, Etroplus suratensis, and Penaeus monodon showed the highest specific growth
rate (SGR) at 10 g l-1 salinity. However, the growth rates were not differed significantly
(P>0.05) compared to freshwater. Chelon planiceps and Mystus gulio exhibited the
highest SGR at 5 g l-1 salinity, although growth rates of the fish were not differed
significantly (P>0.05) with freshwater treatments. Comparable survival and growth of
all species in the freshwater condition indicated their ability of healthy acclimation at
freshwater ponds. Therefore, these euryhaline fish species can be promoted in the
Indian Sundarban for culture in freshwater ponds as climate-resilient adaptation
strategies. This study could be useful in decision making during species and farm site
selection which eventually will minimize the risks from total crop loss during saltwater
inundation.
Introduction
Saltwater intrusion in freshwater and coastal
mainland caused by climate change-induced sea-level
rise as well as frequent extreme weather events (storm
surge, cyclone, etc.) are now a major concern in many
tropical deltas (Dubey et al., 2017). This salinity intrusion
is impacting freshwater fisheries and aquaculture which
limits the production efficiencies and sustainability of
the aquatic food production system (Ahmed & Diana,
2015). Although salinity is an important environmental
How to cite
Dubey, S, K., Trivedi, R, K., Chand, B, K., (2022). Culture Possibilities of Certain Brackishwater Species at Freshwater: A Climate Change Adaptation
Strategy for Salinity Intrusion Prone Areas of Indian Sundarban Delta. Aquaculture Studies, 22(2), AQUAST657.
http://doi.org/10.4194/AQUAST657
Aquaculture Studies
AQUAST657
other freshwater tributaries. This coastal deltaic
ecosystem sustains marvelous faunal and floral
assemblages and supports millions of livelihoods who
depend on the vibrant natural resources of Sundarban.
Apart from the numerous crisscross networks of tidal
creeks and rivers, the Sundarban is endowed with a vast
expanse of often inland waters in the form of canals,
lakes, ponds, tanks, wetlands, and paddy fields which
always have attracted attention for its fish culture
potentials. Currently, the Indian part of Sundarban is
home to 4.5 million people, and agriculture followed by
aquaculture is the main source of livelihood. It is a
designated climate change hotspot that has experienced
various environmental changes associated with climatic
variables (UNESCO, 2009). This lower part of the
Gangetic tidal delta is susceptible to coastal flooding and
saltwater inundation during extreme weather events. In
many areas inside the Sundarban islands, freshwater
ponds have been inundated frequently by
brackishwater during coastal flooding mainly after
embankment breaching, which is converting freshwater
fishponds into oligohaline ponds. In these transformed
scenarios, several brackishwater species (euryhaline)
have a huge culture potential into freshwater ponds
where saline water inundation is a common
phenomenon and as one of the important climate-
resilient adaptation strategies. This makes the case of
the paper.
Canagaratnam (1959) studied the growth of
several brackishwater and marine fishes in low salinity.
Oren (1981) extensively documented aquaculture
possibilities of brackishwater species like grey mullets
(Mugilidae). Sarig (1981) explored the possibilities of
mullets inclusion in freshwater as well as brackishwater
polyculture in Israel. Bok (1984) documented the
extensive culture of two mullet species in freshwater
impoundments in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Culture of the euryhaline species especially under the
Mugilidae family in estuarine and coastal regions is
reported from many countries like China (Chang et al.,
2004), Egypt (Bishara, 1978; Saleh, 2008), Israel
(Lupatsch et al., 2003), Italy (Luzzana et al., 2005), New
Zealand (Wells, 1984), Nigeria (Anyanwu et al., 2007), Sri
Lanka (De Silva & Perera, 1976; De Silva & Silva, 1979),
Taiwan (Chang et al., 2000), Tunisia (Khériji et al., 2003),
etc. Apart from fish species, Collins and Russell (2003)
reported that black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon
adapted quite well to freshwater conditions in Australia
because of its wide range of salinity tolerance. Similarly,
Saoud et al. (2003) studied the use of inland well waters
for the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei
culture. Araneda et al. (2008) evaluated the growth
performances of L. vannamei in freshwater at different
densities.
In India, researches on the rearing of brackishwater
fishes (mainly mullets) began probably in the 1920s
(Campbell, 1921; Hornell, 1922). From the 1940s
onwards emphasis was given on the feasibility of
acclimating mullet juveniles to freshwater and
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study. The fish were procured locally from hatcheries
located in Sundarbans. The fish were kept in 10 g l1
saline water and kept for one week. During this
acclimatization period, fish were fed with
supplementary pelleted feed in required quantities
twice daily (9 am and 4 pm). The specification of feed
was: crude protein-30%, crude fat-8%, crude Fiber-6%,
NFE (Nitrogen Free Extract)-38%, ash-8% and moisture-
10%. The gross energy content of feed was 383.2 kcal/kg
which was calculated based on standard physiological
fuel values. The feeding was stopped 24 hours (h) before
the beginning of the experiment.
Experiment Design and Setup
The approach of the study design was followed
Chand et al. (2015) and Dubey et al. (2016) with
necessary modification. A total of six rectangular
earthen ponds were used for this study and a completely
randomized design was followed. The ponds were
located at Bishnupur village of the Sagar island (latitude
21°42'6.08"N and longitude 88° 4'54.97"E), extreme
western sector of Indian Sundarban (Figure 1). The
earthen ponds were sized at about 0.02 ha and the
experiment was conducted in the pre-monsoon year of
2015. The trial was performed in two phases.
Experiments with six species were commenced in ponds
while a trial with one species M. gulio was performed in
FRP tanks (L: W: H = 1.8: 0.8: 0.6 m). Before commencing
trials, proper pond preparations were done following
standard procedures. two ponds of each were filled with
freshwater (0 g l1), 5 g l1, and 10 g l1 salinities water to
perform the study. Salinities were monitored through a
refractometer and optimized periodically. The
Figure 1. Map of the study sites. A: India; B: West Bengal; C: Sundarban, respectively. White circle indicates the Sagar island.
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assessed in terms of average daily growth (ADG, g d1),
weight gain, specific growth rate (SGR; % d1), and body
weight gain (BWG %) following Dubey et al. (2016).
Water Quality Monitoring
Water quality parameters like temperature (°C),
pH, and dissolved oxygen (mg l1) were measured
fortnightly through a multi-parameter water analyzer
instrument (HANNA, HI 9828, Germany). The ammonia-
nitrogen, NH3-N (mg l1), nitrate-nitrogen, NO3-N (mg
l1), nitrite-nitrogen, NO2-N (mg l1), phosphate-
phosphorus, PO4-P (mg l1) were measured using HACH
Spectrophotometer (DR 2800, Germany). Total alkalinity
(mg CaCO3 l1) and total hardness (mg CaCO3 l1) were
measured as per APHA (2012). Salinity (g l1) was
monitored daily.
Statistical Analysis
Data attained from the experiment like survival,
growth performance, and water quality data for each
salinity treatment were analyzed using one-way analysis
of variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey (HSD) test to
determine statistical variations among different salinity
treatments (Zar, 1999). The difference was considered
statistically significant at P≤ 0.05. The analyses were
performed using IBM SPSS 20.0 statistical software.
Figure 2. Survival (%) of some brackish water aquaculture species in fresh water and low salinities.
S. argus T. jarbua E. suratensis C. parsia C. planiceps M. gulio P. monodon
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
a
a
a
c
b
a
b
b
a
b
b
a
b
ab
a
b
ab
a
bb
Survival (%)
Brackishwater species
Salinity
0 g l-1
5 g l-1
10 g l-1
a
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(1.48% d1) and the growth rates between fresh water
and 5 g l-1 salinity were not differed significantly
(P>0.05). It is fascinating to note that the growth rates
of species like E. suratensis, C. planiceps, M. gulio, and
P. monodon in fresh water and saline water were
statistically similar (P>0.05). However, the growth rates
of T. jarbua are significantly dependent on salinity
(P<0.05) and differed with freshwater treatment. The
BWG (%) of fish exposed to different salinity ponds is
given in Figure 3. In terms of BWG (%), the best growth
performance in freshwater was observed for T. jarbua
followed by C. planiceps, P. monodon, C. parsia, S. argus,
M. gulio and E. suratensis (Figure 3).
Water Quality
Water quality parameters were found to be
suitable throughout the experimental period (Table 2).
In the ponds, Total alkalinity values showed a significant
difference during the culture period (P<0.05). The
average water temperature (°C) over the study period
was found to be 31.96, 31.53, and 30.87 at freshwater
(0 g l1), 5 and 10 g l1 salinity treatment, respectively.
Water pH showed a static stage throughout the
Figure 3. Body Weight Gain (%) of some brackish water aquaculture species in fresh water and low salinities.
S. argus T. jarbua E. suratensis C. parsia C. planiceps M. gulio P. monodon
0
25
50
75
100
125
150
175
200
225
250
275
300
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
b
b
a
b
ab
a
bb
Body Weight Gain (%)
Brackishwater species
Salinity
0 g l-1
5 g l-1
10 g l-1
a
Aquaculture Studies, 22(2), AQUAST657
http://doi.org/10.4194/AQUAST657
Published by Central Fisheries Research Institute (SUMAE) Trabzon, Turkey.
Table 1. Growth performances of some brackish water aquaculture species in fresh water and low salinities.
Species
Fresh water (0 g l-1)
5 g l-1
10 g l-1
IW
FW
WG
SGR
IW
FW
WG
SGR
IW
FW
WG
SGR
S. argus
46.09±0.68a
84.91±0.53a
38.82±1.20a
1.02±0.03a
47.15±1.35a
91.45±0.88b
44.30±0.70b
1.10±0.03b
49.34±0.84b
99.82±0.87c
50.48±0.71c
1.17±0.02b
T. jarbua
10.34±0.04a
30.33±0.32a
20.0±0.38 a
1.79±0.01 a
10.33±0.02 a
33.65±5.51 ab
23.32±5.51 ab
1.95±0.26 b
10.34±0.03 a
33.72±5.49 ab
23.39±5.47 ab
1.96±0.26 b
E. suratensis
11.36±0.57a
14.27±0.88a
2.91±0.35a
0.38±0.03a
11.47±0.90a
15.32±0.46a
3.85±0.56a
0.49±0.09a
11.42±0.52a
15.37±0.43a
3.95±0.15a
0.50±0.03a
C. parsia
13.85±0.30a
29.38±0.35a
15.53±0.61a
1.25±0.05a
13.77±0.26a
29.88±0.51a
16.11±0.63a
1.29±0.05ab
13.43±1.02a
32.51±0.39b
19.07±0.74b
1.48±0.11b
C. planiceps
4.75±0.26a
10.95±1.32a
6.20±1.07a
1.39±0.11a
4.80±0.64a
12.38±1.29a
7.59±0.76a
1.58±0.10a
5.04±0.41a
12.38±1.29a
7.34±1.12a
1.50±0.16a
M. gulio
6.45±0.10ab
10.23±0.08a
3.78±0.03a
0.77±0.01a
6.32±0.04b
10.30±0.05a
3.98±0.01ab
0.81±0.00a
6.61±0.05a
10.72±0.15b
4.11±0.20b
0.81±0.03a
P. monodon
6.18±0.25a
13.56±1.02a
7.38±0.78a
1.31±0.06a
6.10±0.49a
14.12±0.61a
8.02±0.13a
1.40±0.06a
6.19±0.33a
14.50±0.85a
8.31±0.53a
1.42±0.01a
IW: Initial weight (g); FW: Final weight (g); WG: Weight gain (g); SGR: Specific Growth Rate (%)
Data are presented as Mean ± SD of three replicates. Figures in parenthesis represent the range of the parameters. Values of same superscripts within a row under each category did not differ significantly (P > 0.05).
Table 2. Water quality parameters of culture ponds and FRP tanks during survival and growth performance trial of brackish water aquaculture species in fresh water at Sagar field site.
Parameters
Salinity treatments
P - value
Fresh water (0 g l-1)
5 g l-1
10 g l-1
Earthen pond
FRP tank
Earthen pond
FRP tank
Earthen pond
FRP tank
Earthen pond
FRP tank
Temperature (°C)
31.96±1.52a
(29.9 - 34.5)
31.57±1.1a
(30.1-33.1)
31.53±1.06a
(29.7 - 33.1)
31.72±1.11a
(29.8-33.5)
30.87±1.81a
(28.4 - 33.4)
31.70±1.19a
(30.1-33.5)
0.38
0.96
pH
7.17±0.23a
(6.8 - 7.5)
7.05±0.30a
(6.6-7.5)
7.15±0.32a
(6.7 - 7.6)
7.05±0.20a
(6.7-7.5)
7.17±0.26a
(6.8 - 7.5)
6.95±0.25a
(6.6-7.3)
0.98
0.75
Dissolved oxygen
(mg l1)
7.03±0.29a
(6.45 - 7.4)
6.73±0.3a
(6.1-7.1)
6.96±0.3a
(6.5 - 7.5)
6.70±0.32a
(6.3-7.2)
6.98±0.36a
(6.5 - 7.5)
6.85±0.12a
(6.7-7.1)
0.91
0.52
Total alkalinity
(mg CaCO3 l1)
103.5±2.26a
(100 - 106)
103.75±7.51a
(95-120)
110.75±3.61b
(105 - 116)
105.62±5.3a
(99-115)
115.14±3.02c
(109 - 118)
109.85±5.42a
(102-118)
0.0001
0.18
Total hardness
(mg CaCO3 l1)
110.5±5.42a
(101 -118)
112±3.77a
(106-117)
111.37±4.03a
(105 - 115)
106±2.92b
(102-110)
111.57±4.11a
(105 - 117)
107.71±3.72ab
(105-114)
0.89
0.008
Ammonia-Nitrogen
NH3-N (mg l1)
0.21±0.04a
(0.15 - 0.3)
0.20±0.04a
(0.15-0.31)
0.21±0.03a
(0.17 - 0.25)
0.18±0.06a
(0.1-0.29)
0.20±0.03a
(0.14 - 0.24)
0.18±0.04a
(0.11-0.24)
0.72
0.58
Nitrate-Nitrogen
NO3-N (mg l1)
0.24±0.03a
(0.2 - 0.31)
0.25±0.06a
(0.14-0.35)
0.27±0.03a
(0.2 - 0.31)
0.23±0.07a
(0.15-0.35)
0.26±0.03a
(0.21 - 0.31)
0.21±0.03a
(0.18-0.25)
0.32
0.50
Nitrite-Nitrogen
NO2-N (mg l1)
0.02±0.01a
(0.01 - 0.05)
0.03±0.01a
(0.02-0.05)
0.02±0.01a
(0.01 - 0.05)
0.03±0.01a
(0.01-0.05)
0.02±0.01a
(0.01 - 0.04)
0.05±0.01b
(0.03-0.08)
0.96
0.02
Phosphate-Phosphorus
PO4-P (mg l1)
0.25±0.02a
(0.21 - 0.29)
0.27±0.02a
(0.25-0.31)
0.25±0.02a
(0.21 - 0.3)
0.27±0.03a
(0.22-0.31)
0.25±0.04a
(0.19 - 0.3)
0.26±0.02a
(0.22-0.3)
0.96
0.68
Data are presented as Mean ± SD of three replicates during the 60-day culture period. Figures in parenthesis represent the range of the parameters. Values with the same superscripts within a row do not differ
significantly (P > 0.05).
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climate change. In the present study, all experimented
brackishwater species survived and grew well in
freshwater conditions. Species such as S. argus, C.
parsia, T. jarbua, E. suratensis, and P. monodon showed
the SGR at 10 g l-1 salinity water ponds. However, the
growth rates were not differed significantly (P>0.05)
compared to freshwater ponds. C. planiceps and M.
gulio exhibited the highest SGR at 5 g l-1 salinity water
ponds, although growth rates of the fish were not
differed significantly (P > 0.05) with freshwater ponds.
As euryhaline, spotted scat S. argus thrives well in
freshwater and coastal habitats (Barry & Fast, 1992).
The spotted scat has a broad salinity tolerance range
and is more tolerant of transfers to lower salinities and
freshwater (0 g l-1 salinity) (Macahilig et al., 1988). Such
a pattern of survival probably reflects the ability of the
scat to osmoregulate better at lower osmotic pressures
than in a hypersaline environment (Macahilig et al.,
1988). The growth of S. argus was almost comparable in
both fresh water and brackishwater when it co-cultured
with milkfish Chanos chanos and did not affect the
growth and production of milkfish (Biona et al., 1988a).
In line with the present study, better survival, and
growth rate of S. argus were also noticed when cultured
in 5 g l-1 salinity than higher salinity (10, 15, 20, 25, and
30 g l-1) (Mookkan et al., 2014).
Like scats, species under the family Mugilidae
(mullets) show a great deal of euryhalinity and have a
broad salinity tolerance range (Thomson, 1966). Being
the lowest trophic level fish and omnivorous feeding
habit, mullets are suitable for monoculture and
compatible with other species in polyculture (Biswas et
al., 2012b). In India, mullets are potential candidate
species suitable for culture in brackishwater ponds and
have a high consumer preference due to their unique
taste. However, the pond culture of mullet in traditional
and semi-intensive systems mainly relies on wild seed
collection from tidal estuaries (Biswas et al., 2012a;
2017). Flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus was
successfully cultured in fresh water and various salinities
(10, 15, 20, and 25 g l-1 salinity) using inland saline
groundwater (Barman et al., 2005). The study revealed
that SGR was significantly enhanced in fish maintained
at 10 g l-1 salinity (SGR 4.70 % d1) in comparison with
freshwater (SGR 3.12 % d1) which supported the
findings of the present study.
Peral spot E. suratensis can thrive in marine,
estuarine and freshwater environments (Rao et al.,
2000), and is a euryhaline species with a high salinity
tolerance from 1 - 70 g l-1 (Wallace, 1975). However, to
date, little attention has been paid to the culture
practice of E. suratensis in captivity. Due to its good taste
and flesh quality, the pearl spot has high consumer
preference in the local as well as international markets
(Biswas et al., 2012c). Euryhaline nature and
omnivorous feeding habits make E. suratensis
compatible to be farmed in polyculture with both
brackishwater and freshwater fish and prawns
(Jayaprakas et al., 1990). Padmakumar et al. (2009)
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the gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata (Woo & Kelly,
1995; Laiz-Carrión et al., 2005; Resley et al., 2006),
Juvenile black bream Acanthopagrus butcheri (Partridge
& Jenkins, 2002), Red drum Sciaenops ocellata (Crocker
et al., 1981), and milkfish Chanos chanos (Alava, 1998)
that exhibit satisfactory survival and growth rate in low
salinities to freshwater. Similarly, L. vannamei has been
grown in inland saline waters ranging in salinity from 2 g
l-1 to freshwater (0 g l-1) (Samocha et al., 1998; Davis et
al., 2004; Araneda et al., 2008).
When fish encounter stressful conditions, their
ionic and osmoregulatory stability disrupts and this can
be termed as ‘Osmo-respiratory compromise’ (Myrick,
2011). In freshwater, fish experience the passive gain of
water and loss of ions, which is accomplished through
the production of large volumes of dilute urine and
active uptake of ions across the gills. In saltwater, fish
offset the passive gain of ions and loss of water. This is
accomplished by drinking seawater, absorbing water,
and salts across the gut, and excreting monovalent ions
across the gills and divalent ions through the kidney
(McCormick, 2011). Nearly 95% of extant stenohaline
teleost species are osmoregulators, which means they
maintain their extracellular body fluids at a relatively
constant osmolality of 300 mOsmol kg-1 (isosmotic to
9 g l-1 salinity). The remaining 5% of euryhaline fishes are
osmoconformers having the capacity to tolerate a wide
range of salinities (Kültz, 2015). Nonetheless, euryhaline
fish have developed special biochemical and
physiological mechanisms to thrive in a changing salinity
regime. They can intellect osmotic stress, which induces
the instigation of osmosensory signaling mechanisms
that, in turn, regulate osmoregulatory effectors to
alleviate osmotic stress in saline water (Fiol & Kültz,
2007). Although this study did not measure biochemical
parameters of fish in a different saline environment,
euryhaline teleost fishes can regulate and maintain
plasma ionic composition and osmotic concentration in
changing salinity regimes (Nordlie, 2009; Aragão et al.,
2010). Lin et al. (2003) found no significant difference in
plasma osmolality, sodium, or chloride concentrations
of milkfish C. chanos adapted fresh water and various
strengths of saline water thus prove the extremely
euryhalinity of brackishwater fishes.
In 2009, both parts of Sundarban (West Bengal in
India and Bangladesh) has witnessed severe tropical
cyclone Aila which caused massive inland salinization
and damage freshwater farmlands. This salinity still
remains in many inland areas of the delta. Very recently,
super cyclone Amphan in 2020 again struck the
Sundarban and pushed coastal floodwater up to 15 km
inland inside the various inhabited islands. This causes
huge damage to the freshwater homestead pond-based
aquaculture inside the islands of Sundarban. The study
has two broad implications. First, in this changing
climatic scenario, certain euryhaline species have a
wider potentiality for culture in many freshwater areas
of the Indian Sundarban delta as well as other tropical
deltas where coastal flooding is a common occurrence.
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Chand: Experimental Design, Methodologies, Writing
Review & Editing; Sourabh Kumar Dubey: Research
Investigation, Data Analysis, Writing Original Draft
Preparation. All Authors Read and Approved the Final
Manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no known
competing financial or non-financial, professional, or
personal conflicts that could have appeared to influence
the work reported in this paper.
Acknowledgements
We are grateful to the Late Prof. Amalesh
Choudhury and SDMBRI, Sagar island and Sundarban
Development Board for sharing field laboratory
facilities. The authors express their sincere thankfulness
to Jalad Gayen and Sudan Roy for providing technical
assistance.
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