Aquaculture for all

Indian Aqua Farmers Seek Amendment to GO

Health Economics Politics +3 more

INDIA - Fish farmers on Tuesday (4 June) sought an amendment to the 'harsh' GO Ms. No 7 which insists on regularisation of the haphazard growth in aquaculture.

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According to The Hindu, in a late-night interaction with K. Praveen Kumar, Commissioner of the Fisheries department in the state of Andhra Pradesh, fish growers from the Krishna and West Godavari districts made a plea to this effect.

A farmer from Krishna district emphasised the need to phase out the provision in the GO for imposing a penal action against the farmers who failed to get their ponds regularised in time.

The GO envisages that the ponds shall be demolished with the cost to be borne by their unauthorised owners if the latter who failed to apply for regularisation before 16 June besides collection of Rs 5,000 per acre as penalty by the authorities.

Bapineedu, another farmer from the Krishna district, pleaded for extension of the deadline for regularisation.

"In our district, hardly 21 applications for regularisation were cleared so for and hundreds of pleas for regularisation are pending with the district administration and that it is quite unlikely for the farmers to comply with the GO within the stipulated time," he said.

K. Sivaji Raju, a fish farmer from West Godavari district, said the cultivation cost was shooting up year after year because of the deadly diseases caused due to lack of freshwater.

Each farmer was constrained to spend Rs 25,000-30,000 on medicines per acre to save the fish.

The poor pond hygiene was reported in almost all the coastal tracts due to the lack of freshwater, he said while appealing to the government to ensure supply of canal water for aquaculture at least once in two years.

Manga Venkataratnam, a fisherman from the Scheduled Castes from Akiveedu, said all the fishermen from his community living on fishing in the Kolleru lake lost their livelihood with the Operation Kolleru programme.

A. Challa Rao, president of the West District Fishermen Cooperative Society, appealed to the district administration to save the Y-Drain from pollution.

The heavy loads of harmful pollutants released by industries upstream into the drain resulted in death of fish and the other species.

Consequently, the fishermen, who were eking out their living on fishing in the drain, lost their habitant and turned as agricultural workers, he said.

The Commissioner sought to allay the fears of farmers over the GO, saying that the administration would not go ahead with demolishing the ponds if their owners applied for regularisation in time as long as their applications were pending approval with the District Level Committee.

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