Observational evidence of stratification control of upwelling and pelagic fishery in the eastern Arabian Sea
MetadataShow full item record
Upwelling is a physical phenomenon that occurs globally along the eastern boundary of the ocean and supports pelagic fishery which is an important source of protein for the coastal population. Though upwelling and associated small pelagic fishery along the eastern Arabian Sea (EAS) is known to exist at least for the past six decades, our understanding of the factors controlling them are still elusive. Based on observation and data analysis we hypothesize that upwelling in the EAS during 2017 was modulated by freshwater-induced stratification. To validate this hypothesis, we examined 17 years of data from 2001 and show that inter-annual variability of freshwater influx indeed controls the upwelling in the EAS through stratification, a mechanism hitherto unexplored. The upper ocean stratification in turn is regulated by the fresh water influx through a combination of precipitation and river runoff. We further show that the oil sardine which is one of the dominant fish of the small pelagic fishery of the EAS varied inversely with stratification. Our study for the first time underscored the role of freshwater influx in regulating the coastal upwelling and upper ocean stratification controlling the regional pelagic fishery of the EAS.
- Scholarly literature