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Plastic pollution from fishing nets threatening Ganges wildlife: study

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    2nd Dec, 2020

Key highlights of the finding

  • Plastic pollution from discarded fishing gear in the Ganges River poses a threat to wildlife such as the critically endangered three-striped roofed turtle and the endangered Ganges river dolphin.
  • The researchers noted that fishing nets, all made of plastic, were the most common type of gear found.
  • It is driven by short gear lifespans and lack of appropriate disposal systems.

How it is causing killing?

  • Ingesting plastic
  • Entanglement causes injury and killing ofa wide range of marine species

What are the solutions to the problem?

  • A high proportion of the fishing gear found aremade of nylon 6, which is valuable and can be used to make products including carpets and clothing.
  • Collection and recycling of nylon 6 has strong potential as a solution because it would cut plastic pollution and provide an income.

Three-striped roofed turtle                        

Conservation Status:

  • IUCN :  Critically Endangered
  • IWPA :   Schedule I
  • CITES :  Appendix II


  • The Three-striped roofed turtle ranges throughout northern India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Characteristics, Habitat and Behaviour:

  • Shell length of females can reach up to 48 cm while for males it is only 26 cm. They are found in moderate to large rivers and nest on sand banks. Their peak nesting season is March and April. Males are omnivorous while the diet of females is unknown.

Major Threats:

  • The species is heavily exploited for its flesh.
  • Loss of habitat, due to human interference.

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