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Ethnobotanical and fishery-related importance of the mangroves of East-Godavari Delta, Andhra Pradesh, India
Collin, S. (2002). Ethnobotanical and fishery-related importance of the mangroves of East-Godavari Delta, Andhra Pradesh, India. MSc Thesis. Universiteit Antwerpen/Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Brussel. 106 pp.

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Document type: Dissertation

    ISW, India, Andhra Pradesh, Godavari Delta

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  • Collin, S.

    The present study was done in the Godavari mangrove forest (16°30'-17°00'N and 82°10'-80°23'E), located in the East-Godavari District of the state Andhra Pradesh in India. The Godavari mangroves are qualitatively and quantitatively degrading due to various anthropogenic causes like the over-exploitation by riverine populations and, more recently, the extensive development of aquaculture and pollution from rural and urbanised areas (Kakinada town). Exploitation of the Godavari mangroves by the local communities is done since immemorial time to satisfy their basic needs in fuel and construction wood, and to get food and revenues through fishery-related activities. To acquire information on the ethnobotanical aspects or local uses and the levels of knowledge on the mangrove forest, the fishery-related importance of the ecosystem and the perception on the status and dynamics of the mangrove forest, one hundred interviews were carried out among the fisherfolk population. Results from the interviews with the fishermen indicated that Avicennia marina, a dominant species in the Godavari mangroves, is most frequently used as firewood and for construction purposes. Multiple products of the mangrove include the bark of Ceriops decandra to dye the fishing nets and improve their durability, the bark of Aegiceras corniculatum to poison and catch fish, the leaves of Avicennia spp. and Excoecaria agallocha, as fodder for the cattle. No medicinal use of true mangrove species could be reported. Mangrove fisheries provide the main source of income and food for the households interviewed. Especially Penaeus monodon, Lates calcarifer and Scylla serrata are favoured for their market value. The 'gidasa valla' is the most frequently used net. The fishermen of the Godavari mangroves complain about the decline in catches and report various causes, some related others unrelated to change in the mangroves. The majority of the respondents report that the Godavari mangrove cover has increased compared with the past and they share the opinion that this trend will continue in the future. However, according to other sources, the Godavari mangroves have not been spared by man and have been subjected to heavy exploitation to meet local demands off uelwood in the past. A more recent threat is the conversion of mangrove areas to aquaculture ponds. These paradoxical findings are discussed in relation with the demographic and socio-economic traits of the fisherfolk communities of the Godavari mangroves and indicate a clear dependency of their livelihood on the mangrove forest.

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