Kendrapara, May 25 (LocalWire): Around ten thousand shrimp farmers of the coastal district of Kendrapara have suffered a severe setback as cyclone Amphan washed away most of the shrimp farms in the seaside villages.
“Large numbers of shrimps were washed away by the tidal surge that breached the embankments at many points during the cyclone in the coastal areas,” said Sahadev Behera, a shrimp farmer from Gupti village.
“Around 32 seafood export companies of the state exported seafood worth Rs 3200 crores in the financial year 2018-19.
Amphan struck the fishing sector hard as large tracks of prawn farms were damaged,” he added.
Parikhita Mandal, a shrimp cultivator from the seaside village of Jamboo said that he had to incur a huge loss as his ten shrimp farms spread over 10 acres of land was completely washed away by the tidal surge.
“Shrimps worth Rs. 20 lakhs in my gherries were washed away by the tidal surge,” he said
When contacted, Mamata Mohapatra, the district fisheries officer of Kendrapara said, “729 shrimp farmers of the district have registered shrimp farms covering 1400 acres of land in the district and these farmers will get compensation from the fisheries department.
Illegal shrimp farms cultivating shrimp without registering with the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) are liable to be imprisoned for three years and levied a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh”.
“Three years ago, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) declared 192 villages around the Bhitarkanika National Park as Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) to prevent ecological damage caused due to developmental activities around the Bhitarkanika (known as India’s second-largest mangrove forest after Sundarbans in West Bengal).
ESZ prohibits any shrimp farming within two kilometers of Bhitarkanika, for which the authorities shall demolish all illegal prawn farms,” added the officer.