After Cyclone Nilam’s departure, strange things are happening on the Karnataka coast.
While the neighbouring Goa has reported jellyfish incursion into the Mandovi River, Karnataka coastal fishermen have reported sudden drop in the volumes of catch sending fish prices soaring.
“After the Nilam, we have had hardly two days of fishing that could barely recover our cost of the fuel. In the last few days, we have not gone on fishing expedition, fearing dismal catch,” said Rama Tandel, a fisherman at Mazali on the Karnataka-Goa border.
However, the coastal and river fishermen of Uttara Kannada are thanking the heavens for their fishing areas being spared of jellyfish incursion.
The fisheries department, which was studying the conditions in Kali and other west-flowing rivers following the situation in Mandovi, said there were always some biological interaction between the sea and the river. “The jellyfish are commonly found on the beach sides and at the bar mouth. Largescale incursion has not been reported,” K Suresh Kumar, deputy director of fisheries, Dakshina Kannada, said.
Dr Sripad, a scientist at the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, explained the jellyfish incursion.
“Although Kali and Mandovi are known to be sister rivers and open up into the Arabian sea, Mandovi has one of the widest mouths among all the west-flowing rivers. This increases the salinity in the bar mouth area.
The high tide during Nilam caused changes in the temperature and microbial growth creating conditions for the jellyfish to cross over into the river,” Sripad said.