Deluge washes away livelihood of fish farmers in Kendrapara district
Sources said the losses run into lakhs of rupees and the Fisheries department is yet to carry out any damage assessment survey.
Published: 22nd August 2022 09:29 AM | Last Updated: 22nd August 2022 09:29 AM | A+A A-
KENDRAPARA: The deluge has washed away the livelihood of a large number of fish farmers in the district. After the gushing floodwaters swept away the fish from ponds, around 10,000 fishermen are now staring at uncertainty. Sources said the losses run into lakhs of rupees and the Fisheries department is yet to carry out any damage assessment survey.
Ananda Behera (45) of Padanipala village in Aul block had reared fish in two ponds. On average, he used to catch 5-10 kg of fish daily from his ponds and earn around Rs 10,000 per month. But the floods last week washed away almost all the fish from his ponds.
Similarly, Vivekananda Mallick (54) of Dihabalarampur village in Marsaghai block had obtained Rs 30,000 as an advance from a trader two months back on the condition of selling all his fish to him. However, the fish from his two ponds were carried away into the nearby river by the floodwater.
Apart from fishermen, many prawn farm owners have suffered huge losses as the floodwater washed away shrimps from their gheris. “The floodwater receded from my prawn farm on Saturday. But all the shrimps have swept away. I suffered a loss of around Rs 3 lakh,” said Akshya Mandal, a prawn farm owner of Kusunapur village.
President of Odisha Mashyajibi Forum Narayan Haldar said the fish ponds were flooded during the breeding period. The worst sufferers are the fish farmers whose farms were on the fringes of rivers. After the floodwater receded, fish started dying because of the lack of oxygen caused by water pollution in many ponds.
The majority of the remaining fish in the farms have died due to the inflow of polluted water from rivers into the ponds. Claiming that fish production would be hit this year due to the floods, Haldar demanded that the government should provide fish seeds and financial assistance to the affected farmers.
Contacted, district fisheries officer Mamata Mohapatra said, “The department would carry out a survey in the coming days to assess the extent of the damage. We have directed the fishery extension officers of all nine blocks to submit a detailed report about the loss of fishermen. After getting the report, we will provide assistance to the affected persons.’’