Flood takes heavy toll on fisheries

প্রকাশিত: ১১:২৪ অপরাহ্ণ, সেপ্টেম্বর ৯, ২০২০

Flood takes heavy toll on fisheries
Amdadul Haque:

Floods have damaged livestock and fisheries resources worth about 785 crore taka in eight divisions across the country, sources said.

Determining the extent of the damage, the Department of Fisheries (DoF) has prepared a recommendation to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MoFL) to assist the affected farmers. They said the recommendation will be given to the ministry soon.

Talking to the fish farmers, it is known that the fish farmers of the country have also suffered a lot due to the corona virus before two consecutive disasters like Amphan and Floods.

Fry fishes are usually collected in March for fish rearing throughout the year. At that time many farmers could not collect fry as lockdown and communication system was almost closed. As a result, they have also suffered in the long run.

According to the Department of Fisheries (DoF), there are about 25 lakh ponds in the country. Eighty percent of the rural population is involved in fish farming in many way. In addition, about 1.6 million people in the coastal areas make a living by fishing in the sea and rivers.

According to an official of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MoFL), “This year’s floods have caused significant damage to fisheries resources. We have calculated the loss. Now we are trying to figure out to recover it.”

According to the Department of Fisheries (DoF), the fisheries resources of a total of 36 districts of the country have been damaged this time. About two lakh farms belonging to more than 1 lakh 32 thousand owners have been damaged. More than 52,000 metric tons of fish have been washed away. And more than 110 crore fry fish has been washed away.

The Deputy Director of the Department of Fisheries, Goljar Hossain said, “The demand for fish feed, fry, fertilizer and lime among the farmers to compensate for the loss of fishery resources is in process. Once the compensation is allocated, it will be distributed among the affected people.”

Reviewing the preliminary accounts of the Department of Fisheries, it is seen that the damage in the district which has been under water for about a month and a half is now becoming clear.

Apart from houses, roads and crop lands, the floods have caused severe damage to fish ponds and ponds. After cyclone Ampan, the total loss due to heavy rains and recent floods stood at Tk 785 crore.

According to sources, the flood has caused the most damage in Sunamganj district. A total of Tk 52 crore worth of fish has been washed away there. Earlier, cyclone Ampan swept away a large number of fish in Satkhira and Jessore areas.

However, fisheries experts said that several initiatives have been taken by the agriculture ministry to make up for the flood damage to the country’s paddy, vegetable and jute farmers. Initiatives have been taken by the Ministry of Agriculture to provide Aman seeds to the farmers after the water recedes. Aman and vegetable seedbeds have been set up at every high place in the country. But so far no such assistance has been taken to the fish farmers.

Earlier, In a recent statement, Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim directed to take all necessary steps to compensate the loss of fisheries and livestock sector in the flood-hit areas.

At the same time, he urged to formulate a specific action plan to continue normal fish and animal production in the flood-hit areas and to formulate strategies for its implementation.

However, the government has allocated 439.12 metric tonnes of rice under the Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme to assist the families of fishermen who maintain livelihood by catching fish from the Kaptai Lake and refrained from fishing in the area during the ban.

Under the programme, 21,956 families of fishermen in 10 upazilas of Rangamati and Khagrachhari hill districts on the banks of Kaptai Lake will receive 20 kg of rice each for the month of July 2020 in the current fiscal year 2020-21.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has allocated the VGF rice, according to the statement issued on Tuesday.