Summary of Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission No. IO50-03-0055PresentationPoster

A FORAMINIFERAL TESTIMONY FOR IMPROVED ECOSYSTEM HEALTH OF ZUARI ESTUARY POST MINING CLOSURE

S. M. Saalim*1, R. Saraswat1, A. M Gawas1, Manasa M.1, D. K. Naik1, S. R. Kurtarkar1

1 National Institute of oceanography, India

ABSTRACT :

Mining is rampant in several states of India including Goa, and is also supposed to be the back bone of Goa¿s economy. The ore from hinterland areas is transported by barges through the estuaries to the Mormugao port for export. As a result of mining activities, the total suspended matter (TSM) increases in estuaries of Goa, which adversely affects the biota. All the mining related activities abruptly stopped throughout India, including that in Goa since 2012, upon the directive of Supreme Court of India. It provided a fit case to further test the effect of mining activities and pollution. A total of 12 surface samples were collected from a depth range of 4.5 to 8.5m from the Zuari estuary. Benthic foraminiferal distribution was studied in these surface sediments and compared with the previous data reported at times when mining activity was going on. Benthic foraminifera are preferentially marine unicellular protists, which have been extensively used as pollution indicator, in and around the estuarine complex systems. A substantial abundance of benthic foraminifera was reported at all stations and it included both calcareous and agglutinated forms as well as a few reworked specimens. A comparison of the total living benthic foraminiferal number (TLN) post mining closure with the previous years data suggests that the TLN has increased in the Zuari estuary. Similarly, total foraminiferal number (TFN) in the Zuari estuary has also increased. The increase in TLN and TFN is attributed to the closure of mining activities as a result of which total suspended matter has decreased. Based on foraminiferal data we propose that the closure of mining activities has improved the health of Zuari estuary ecosystem.