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Impacts of Microplastics on the Ganga River Ecosystem and Fisheries

The Ganga River, revered as sacred and vital for millions of people in India, faces a growing threat from microplastic pollution. This review examines the effects of microplastics on the Ganga River ecosystem and its fisheries. Microplastics, tiny plastic particles measuring less than 5 mm, enter the Ganga through various land-based sources and surface runoffs, posing significant risks to aquatic life. The unique hydrological characteristics of the Ganga River, including variable water velocity, contribute to the transport and accumulation of microplastics, further exacerbating pollution levels. The presence of microplastics in the Ganga River ecosystem has diverse impacts on aquatic organisms, including fish species such as Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) and the Ganga River dolphin (Platanista gangetica), which are integral to the river's biodiversity. Effective mitigation strategies, including improved waste management practices, public awareness campaigns, and policy interventions, are essential to safeguarding the Ganga River ecosystem and sustaining fisheries for future generations.