Kendrapada, May 15 (LocalWire): Around ten thousand shrimp farmers of Kendrapara district suffered a severe setback as cyclone Fani washed away most of the shrimp farms in the coastal villages.
‘Huge quantities of shrimps were washed away by the tidal surge that breached the embankments at many points during Fani in the coastal parts of the state.
The shrimp farmers of Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur are the worst affected during cyclones and floods,’ Dr Kamalesh Mohanty, president of Sea Food Exporter Associations of India (Odisha region), said.
Around 32 seafood export companies from the state exported 45000 tonnes of seafood worth around Rs 3200 crores in the financial year 2018-19.
Fani rendered a blow to the fishing sector as hundreds of fishing boats, prawn farms and other infrastructures were damaged, added Dr Mishra.
Apart from economically decimating the marginal and small-scale shrimp farmers, the cyclone has hit hard around 20,000 workers, who were directly dependent on the shrimp farms in the coastal pockets.
Rabi Tripathy, a shrimp cultivator of the seaside village Gupti, said he incurred a huge loss after his four shrimp farms in over 12 acres of land were completely washed away by the tidal surge.
‘I lost Rs 20lakh-worth shrimps as gherries were washed away by the tidal surge,’ he said. ‘Had Fani not ravaged my shrimp farms, I could have made a profit of Rs 20 lakh,’ he added.
Apart from shrimp farms, the cyclone also damaged infrastructures like houses, pumps, ice factories, fishing jetties, prawn seed collection centres worth crores of rupees.
‘We don’t know how long it will take to recover the loss,’ said Ajaya Das, a shrimp farmer. ‘We need loans from banks and other financial institutions from the authorities to rebuild the damaged prawn farms,’ added Das.
Pratap Ranjan Rout, Joint Director of fisheries (Coastal) department said, ‘Around 7000 hectares of fish ponds in the coastal pockets have been damaged in the cyclone as per the preliminary survey.
The government has announced Rs 12,200 compensation per hectare for fish farmers.