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Fish farming: Environment impact assessment mooted

Special Correspondent
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District ranked first in aquaculture in the entire country, says Collector

Dos and don'ts:Collector Vanimohan making a power point presentation on the guidelines for regularisation of fishponds in Eluru on Friday.-Photo: A.V.G. Prasad
Dos and don'ts:Collector Vanimohan making a power point presentation on the guidelines for regularisation of fishponds in Eluru on Friday.-Photo: A.V.G. Prasad

Subhani, Assistant Engineer from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) on Friday informed that the board is examining a proposal to carry out a study on the impact of fast-growing fisheries on the ecology in West Godavari district.

A proposal was submitted to the Member Secretary of the APPCB, requesting for an environment impact assessment in the face of divergent views on the effects of aquaculture on environment, he said at an awareness programme on regularisation of fish farms here.

The study was necessitated in the backdrop of complaints from agriculturists and environmentalists that the practice of unregulated aquaculture was polluting groundwater and surface water sources while adversely affecting the soil health.

The death of fish in ponds at times of extreme weather conditions for want of oxygen was a clear indication for water contamination, they argue.

Some official agencies, including the Fisheries Department, however, ruled out the possibility of fish farming in freshwaters having adverse impact on environment.

The district ranked first in aquaculture in the entire country with the fish worth Rs.1,500 crore getting exported annually, Collector G. Vanimohan said while underlining the need for regularisation of the whole extent of 1.5 lakh acres of fishponds to ensure a healthy growth. Venkateswara Rao, Superintending Engineer, Irrigation Department, lamented that 80 per cent of the ponds which came up nearby the irrigation and drainage channels had encroached upon the canal bunds.

Some aqua farmers were even found using the bunds of the drainage and irrigation canals as the bunds of their high-raised fishponds, he said. In the process, the pollutants were joining the irrigation canals, which were a source of drinking water for a number of villages downstream, by gravity from the fishponds, Mr. Venkateswara Rao complained.

Meanwhile, a similar workshop held in Bhimavaram on Thursday was confronted by a complaint from an agriculturist that his fields in Palacole area became victim of pollution caused by fishponds which came up illegally.

Salinity, water and land pollution allegedly caused by fishponds had made the agricultural fields in the neighbourhood unfit for cultivation, he said while appealing to the administration for a stringent action.


  • Official agencies rule out fish farming in fresh waters

  • ‘Fish worth Rs.1,500 crore getting exported annually’


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