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Human activities take a toll on horseshoe crab habitat in Odisha February 20,2020   |  Source: The New Indian Express

Uncontrolled development along the coast and rise in fishing activities have taken a toll on Balaramgadi estuary, a major breeding ground for horseshoe crab. A study conducted by a six-member team of Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Fakir Mohan University (FMU) and Association for Bio-diversity Conservation (ABC), Balasore has revealed that the natural sandy beach and estuary environment of Balaramgadi on the mouth of Budhabalanga river has been destroyed due to considerable human intervention.

The study also found that Khandia estuary, around 15 km from Balaramgadi, has now become a potential nesting ground for horseshoe crabs where its male and female brooders were spotted. The estuary on the mouth of Khandia river is fertile for horseshoe crab breeding. The sandy areas between upper and mid-tidal zones are providing a suitable environment for spawning, nurture and development of eggs of the crabs. The area is also least affected by fishing and other human activities, said ABC secretary Sidhartha Pati.

Three years back, the egg yield at Balaramgadi was considerably high. However, the laying of eggs decreased to zero in 2017 due to loss of breeding ground. The spawning was affected due to intrusion and disturbance of the natural setting of the estuary, Pati

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)