Oyster Reef Watch Programme

 / Research / In-House /CMR/ Oyster Reef Watch Programme

The Project

Indian coastal zones are highly productive, ecologically fragile, sensitive to anthropogenic activities and experiencing rapid development. Conservation and management of coastal zones including sheltered environments (bays) and estuaries are the need of the hour for sustainable development. Generally, coastal areas receive excess amounts of organic and inorganic pollutants from various anthropogenic activities, which leads to eutrophication, algal bloom and disease outbreaks in ecologically sensitive areas, directly impacting fishery productivity and coastal and marine biodiversity. Oyster reef restoration in estuaries and bays can be an important step towards controlling coastal pollution around India. Suitable oyster reef restoration in different bays/estuaries may reduce nutrient/metal fluxes to the water column and improve overall coastal marine health in the coastal systems. In this context, “Oyster Reef Watch Programme (ORWaP)” was undertaken to identify and document the status of degrading oyster reefs in selected estuaries of India and to prepare restoration and management programmes for highly degraded oyster reefs

Realtime monitoring of GHG fluxes established at

Bhitarkanika National Park, Odisha

Aim

To identify and document the status of degrading oyster reefs in selected estuaries of India and to prepare restoration and management programmes for highly degraded reefs.

Objectives

  • Identify the distribution and extent of oyster reefs in selected sites

  • Understand the health of existing oyster reef, by determining the abundance of oyster cover (both live and dead)

  • Determine the intensity of larval recruitment of individual oyster species

  • Understand the growth rate and survival of juvenile oysters

  • Assess the associated flora and fauna of the oyster reef

  • Measure physical and chemical parameters from the water column and sediments

  • Analyze the concentration of bio-accumulated organic and metal pollutants in the soft tissues of oysters

  • Prepare a conservation management plan for highly degraded reefs

Key Findings

A total of 25 species of oysters were documented from the east and west coast estuaries of India.

Placuna placenta, P. quadrangula and P. ephippium are the three windowpane oysters reported from Indian coastal region.

Five species of edible oysters namely, Magallana bilineata (Roding, 1798), M. gryphoides (Schlothiem, 1820), M. rivularis (Gould, 1861), Saccostrea cuccullata (Born, 1778) and Ostrea chilensis (Kuster, 1844) are found in the estuaries.

Distribution of various oyster species along the coasts of India

Location of oyster reefs in Pulicat Lagoon

Live and dead oyster ratio

Abundance of benthic fauna associated with oyster reefs