Believe it or Not! Tripura CM Biplab Deb is Right, Ducks Do Increase Oxygen in Ponds
Biplab Deb's 'bizarre' claims that ducks increase oxygen level in water bodies could have scientific research backing them.
(Image: PTI and Reuters)
(Note: The story has been edited to include some factual clarifications.)
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb loves being in the news. His 'fun facts' on man-made satellites and the Internet existing in the Mahabharata era made everyone chuckle, and perhaps even ridicule the CM. However, with his ‘claims’ that ducks are the biological aerators of the ecosystem, did Deb get it right?
Biplab Deb caught the Internet’s attention when at a traditional boat race event in Rudrasgar district of Tripura he announced that he will distribute 50,000 white Indian ducklings among the fisherman in the area to improve the state's rural economy, environment, and aesthetics.
#WATCH 'Aaj maine ghoshna ki hai 50,000 desi hans (ducks) aas pass ke logon ko de diye https://t.co/JnlsyO3SZd jalasai(Neermahal Lake) mein jab 50,000 safed ducks ghumegi toh kitna sundar lagegi aur use oxygen bhi recycle hoti hai' says Tripura CM Biplab Deb (27.8.18) pic.twitter.com/1pLzb5dsHi
— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2018
“When ducks swim in water, the oxygen level automatically increases in the water body,” Deb said. “Fish in the water will get more oxygen. They also benefit from the bird droppings. Thus, Pisciculture will benefit and fish will grow faster, that too in a completely organic way.” After several memes and jokes on the CM’s recent claims, several Internet users are now pointing out that Deb’s recent ‘claims’ maybe scientific facts.
1/5: Don't dismiss the 'ducks in the pond statement' of Biplab Deb before reading this: While swimming ducks can increase surface aeration, there is no comparison of a mechanical aerator that mixes oxygen in the deeper layers of the water. — Dr. Sumaiya Shaikh (@Neurophysik) August 28, 2018
2/5: A study showed statistically significant differences in fish growth (& pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), etc) in a natural pond with ducks vs. a natural pond without ducks. Link here. So ducks were great for these ponds. https://t.co/8i70QQ1UwC
— Dr. Sumaiya Shaikh (@Neurophysik) August 28, 2018
3/5: However, the size & health of the pond was not considered. There are many factors that can influence pond health & natural ponds are not replicas. The depth of ponds, growth of plants, duck/turtle/fish excreta, algae & sea weed are all responsible for depleting oxygen. — Dr. Sumaiya Shaikh (@Neurophysik) August 28, 2018
4/5: With considerable variables, e.g, deeper ponds, introducing ducks/ geese or even feeding fish will add more waste to the pond > increase fertiliser in the pond > increase in algal & plant growth depletion of oxygen in the pond.
— Dr. Sumaiya Shaikh (@Neurophysik) August 28, 2018
5/5: In summers, this growth increases > produces a larger divide in distribution of oxygen between surface: deeper waters > leads to stratification (sun heating surface water while deeper water to remain cool) > can potentially lead to a "turnover" that rapidly kills fishes. — Dr. Sumaiya Shaikh (@Neurophysik) August 28, 2018
Dr. Sumaiya Shaikh shared a report on her Twitter thread which said that the ability of ducks to increase aeration was much more in shallow waters as compared to deep water bodies. In deep water bodies, ducks will add more waste to the pond, thus increasing fertiliser in the pond and henceforth increasing the algae content of the pond and plant growth depletion of oxygen in the pond.
Another report from United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) talks about ducks being termed as manuring machines for their efficient and labor-saving method of pond manuring.
The report also talks about ducks loosening the pond's bottom surface with their 'dabbling' and help in the release of nutrients from the soil, which increase pond productivity, and thus, “Ducks aerate the water while swimming; thus, they have been called ‘biological aerators'.”
Speaking to ANI, A Debbarma, a scientist at Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education, said that ducks are natural aerators and helped increase the oxygen levels of the water bodies.
Duck-fish farming is integrated farming. Ducks's excreta helps growth of fish. Ducks are natural aerators&help in increasing oxygen level&DEO can also be increased. This has been proved through studies: A Debbarma, Scientist Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (28.08) pic.twitter.com/MdzwPCu48c
— ANI (@ANI) August 29, 2018
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