Kendrapara, September 3 (LocalWire): The fate of a large number of fishermen in Kendrapara is hanging in the balance as fishes were swept away from their ponds in the gushing floodwater.
Sangram Das, 45, of Benipur village under the worst flood-hit Derabishi block reared fish in his two ponds in the village.
Each day, he used to catch an average of 5-10 kg of fish from his ponds and earn almost Rs 10,000 per month.
But last week, the floodwater washed away almost all his fish from the ponds.
Bichitra Behera, 54, a fisherman of Patarapur village under Aul block is now worried as his fish pond covering 20 dismil of land was flooded in the floodwater during the breeding period and fish from the ponds were carried away into the nearby river by the floodwater.
Like Sangram and Bichitra, around ten thousand fishermen, who depend on the ponds for their livelihood, are now suffering because floodwater washed away almost all the fish from their ponds.
The losses have run into lakhs of rupees and the fisheries department is yet to carry out a survey.
The worst sufferers are, however, the fish farmers, whose farms on the fringes of the rivers were flooded, sweeping away fish, said Narayan Haldar, the president of Odisha Mashyajibi Forum.
“This year, the fish ponds were flooded during the breeding period. Fish from the ponds were carried away into the rivers by the floodwater.
Because of the inflow of highly polluted water from the rivers into the ponds, the majority of the remaining fish in the farms will die, causing enormous losses to the farmers.
The recent flood would hamper fish production this year,” added Haldar.
Haldar demanded that the government should do something like providing fish seeds and financial assistance to the fish farmers to mitigate their plight.
Many shrimp farm owners also suffered huge losses as the flood water also washed away shrimps from their gheries.
When contacted Mamata Mohapatra, the district fisheries officer of Kendrapara said, “The fisheries department would carry out a survey in the forthcoming days to assess the extent of damage.
We have directed all the fishery extension officers of all the blocks to submit a detailed report about the losses of fishermen.
After getting the report, we will provide help to the affected fishermen.
Only 729 shrimp farmers of the district registered their shrimp farms covering 1400 acres of land in the district. But other shrimp farms are illegal as it violates the Coastal regulation Zone and the rulings of the Supreme Court and High Court.
Farmers 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.
We will not provide any help to the unregistered shrimp farm owners.”