Illegal prawn ponds mushrooming on coastal Andhra Pradesh

Illegal prawn ponds mushrooming on coastal Andhra Pradesh

THE HANS INDIA |   Jul 17,2017 , 05:14 AM IST

Unauthorised prawn ponds at Akashalakhavaram
Unauthorised prawn ponds at Akashalakhavaram

Srikakulam: Illegal prawn and shrimp ponds are mushrooming all along the coast in Srikakulam district causing severe damage to environment and affecting crops. 

Highlights:

  • Natural biodiversity systems damaged   
  • Posing threat to environment, crops
From Itchapuram to Etcherla mandals, all along the seacoast, shrimp and prawn ponds came up to the extent of 5,300 hectares, while the records of the Fisheries department put the area at only 350 hectares. Illegal cultivation of prawn and shrimp is 18 times more than the sanctioned and approved extent. It shows how the illegal ponds are prevailing along the coastal area in the district.

The Fisheries department and Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) conducted a joint survey on the extent of prawn and shrimp ponds along the coast through the global positioning system (GPS) recently. The survey revealed the existence illegal ponds to the extent of about 5,000 hectares. Vanami variety of prawn cultivation is attracting more traders from East Godavari and Krishna districts to the Srikakulam coast.

Unauthorized prawn and shrimp ponds are existing at Burjapadu, Nelavanka, Balliputtuga, Kusumpuram, Manikyapuram, Uppalam, Baruva, Gollavuru, Akasalakhavaram, Jagannadhapuram, Runkuhanumanthapuram, Ampalam, Dandulaxmipuram, Belamara, Susaram in Itchapuram, Sompeta, Santhabommali and Polaki mandals. 

In Itchapuram mandal, irrigated water canals were damaged due to these ponds. In Sompeta mandal, illegal prawn and shrimp ponds have been obstructing flow of flood waters into the Bay of Bengal through Beelabatti. 

“We have received applications from farmers and approved for cultivation of prawn and shrimp only in an extent of 350 hectares,” Deputy Director of the Fisheries department VV Krishna Murthy told The Hans India. “After a joint survey, we have identified the illegal ponds and now we are issuing notices to them,” the DD added. 

“We have removed bunds of 30 illegal ponds in Sompeta and Santhabommali mandals and identified ponds in government lands in other mandals and will remove them soon,” Tekkali Revenue Divisional Officer M Venkateswara Rao told this newspaper. “We will not spare prawn and shrimp cultivation in government lands,” the RDO clarified.