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Session14: Sustainable water resources management 
and water resources policy/Coastal Ecosystems 

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Chairman: Dr. Devashish Kar

Rapporteur: Sreekantha

Marine Algae Cultivation: Option for Sustainable Management of Chilika Lake

Dinabandhu Sahoo, Nivedita, Debasish and Pooja Baweja


Chinese aquaculture has employed a balanced ecosystem approach for both fresh and brackish water aquacultures for several thousand years. Utilising species that feed at different levels of the food web has permitted China to have the largest aquaculture production in the world. This production has proved to be sustainable in the long run because there is balance in this system. Chilika lake, situated on the East Coast of Indian peninsula is one of the largest brackish water wet land ecosystem in Asia. The lake covers an area of 917 square kilometre and opens to the Bay of Bengal through a narrow mouth. Chilika has an interesting ecology with several small islands, some of which are inhabited by local people.  Amongst Chilika's various flora and fauna, marine algae forms an interesting group of plants.  During our three years of investigations, we reported 13 species of seaweed’s i.e. Enteromorpha compressea, Enteromorpha intestinalis, Ulva fasciata, Ulva lactuca, Chaetomorpha linum, Cladophora glomerata forma. Callicoma, Pithophora oedogonium, Gracilaria verrucosa, Gracilariopsis megaspora, Grateloupia filicina var. luxurians, Ceramium diaphanum var. elegans, Polysiphonia sertularioides, Polysiphonia subtilissima from different parts of the lake, out of which Gracilaria verrucosa, Gracilariopsis megaspora and Grateloupia filicina are of great significance. While the first two taxa are important source of agar, Grateloupia filicina is edible and source of crrageenan.  These phycocolloids have several industrial applications, which includes toothpaste, ice cream, tomato ketchup, chocolate, milk shakes, cosmetics, medicine etc. These seaweeds not only act as a breeding ground for prawns and fish but also remove the extra nitrogen and carbon from parts of the lake, which has damaged the lake ecology to some extent. As a strategy for the sustainable management of the lake we recommend seaweed cultivation at some parts of the lake. Such types of extractive and integrated aquaculture will not only maintain the ecosystem of the lake but will also provide large-scale employment to the local people.

Address: Marine Biotechnology Laboratory
Department of Botany, University of Delhi
Delhi 110 007.India Phone No: 91-11-7666792