Usage of trawl nets has been perceived as one of the major threats to marine biodiversity and to the sustainability of marine fisheries. In the present study, trophic level of fishes associated with bycatch of bottom trawling off Parangipettai and Cuddalore were studied. Stratified random sampling method was followed from each trawl and fish species collected were identified to species level. As many as 46 species in Parangipettai and 51 in Cuddalore waters were recorded. Among them, demersal and reef associated species were found to be dominant groups in both the regions. As regards trophic level (Trl), species accounting for 37% (17 species) in Parangipettai and 40% (20 species) in Cuddalore waters belonged to the trophic level 3.0-3.49 followed by 23.9% (Parangipettai) and 31.3% (Cuddalore) to 4.0-4.5. The number of species recorded in other trophic was less in both the coasts. Diversity indices paralleled the trend of maximum percentage of species recorded in the trophic levels. In all the trophic levels, juveniles (below 15 cm) were landed in large proportions in the trawl bycatch. Reduction of fishing pressure and use of bycatch reduction devices are suggested for the conservation and better management of marine fisheries in the Southeast coast of India.
P. Murugesan, S. Purusothaman and S. Muthuvelu, 2012. Trophic Level of Fishes Associated in the Trawl Bycatch from Parangipettai and Cuddalore, Southeast Coast of India. Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 7: 29-38.