Feeding intensity and diet composition of Hilsa Shad (Tenualosa ilisha) from Northern Bay of Bengal were studied between June 2010 and March 2011. The stomach contents of 320 fishes were analyzed from the northern part of the Bay of Bengal to understand the food items of this species. The major constituents of food are organic debris (26.06 ± 5.19 % SD), diatoms (31.22 ± 11.97 % SD), other algae (12.41 ± 2.62 % SD), and crustaceans (3.50 ± 1.28 % SD). The most abundant species of diatoms were Coscinodiscus, Pleurosigma, Bacillaria, Nitzschia, Biddulphia, Diatoma and Asterionella. The stomach of Hilsa was found to be almost empty during June to October while it was almost full during November to March. Significant positive correlation among feeding intensity, chlorophyll-A concentration and salinity of the ambient water indicated that feeding in T. ilisha is influenced by a number of factors. Strong positive correlation between percentage occurrence of diatoms and intensity of feeding indicated their preference for diatom–food.
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