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Believe it or Not! Tripura CM Biplab Deb is Right, Ducks Do Increase Oxygen in Ponds

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.

(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.

“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.

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.

first published:August 29, 2018, 12:25 IST