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Environmental Impact of Prawn Farming on Dutch Canal: The Main Water Source for the Prawn Culture Industry in Sri Lanka

A. S. L. E. Corea, J. M. P. K. Jayasinghe, S. U. K. Ekaratne and R. Johnstone
Ambio
Vol. 24, No. 7/8, Research and Capacity Building for Sustainable Coastal Management (Dec., 1995), pp. 423-427
Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4314384
Page Count: 5
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Environmental Impact of Prawn Farming on Dutch Canal: The Main Water Source for the Prawn Culture Industry in Sri Lanka
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Abstract

Expansion in the prawn-culture industry in Sri Lanka is being increasingly constrained by problems related to environmental degradation. The present study was undertaken during 1993 and 1994, and examined the water quality of the main water source for the prawn-farming industry in northwestern Sri Lanka, as well the effluents in selected farm sites located in the same area, i.e. Dutch Canal. Prawn farms in the intertidal and supratidal areas of Dutch Canal operate at two levels on a semi-intensive scale. Among the water-quality parameters monitored in farm effluents, significant differences were only observed for sulfides, nitrites and ammonia. The effluents discharged to the Dutch Canal from prawn farms contained relatively high concentrations of sulfides, nitrites and ammonia with mean concentrations of 0.50 mg L-1, 0.12 mg L-1, and 0.45 mg L-1, respectively. Examination of the water body receiving these effluents (Dutch Canal) showed that nitrates, ammonia, sulfides and total suspended solids were at suboptimal levels for prawn cultivation purposes. It is proposed that complimentary treatment systems be established to improve the quality of the receiving water and the farm effluents so as to minimize the environmental impact of the prawn culture industry, and to provide for the sustainability of future prawn cultivation.

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