Flood deals a heavy blow to fish farmers
The fisheries sector has suffered a loss of about Tk 479.85 crore due to heavy rains and floods, according to a report by the fisheries department.
Ponds, lakes and fish farms on around 17,000 hectares of land have been inundated in 208 upazilas of 36 districts, said the report released recently.
Nearly 6,000 tonnes of fish fry were washed away, directly affecting around 72,000 farmers.
During the recent new moon and depression in the Bay of Bengal, swollen rivers in Patuakhali washed away around 1,000 tonnes of fish from 7,280 ponds and other water bodies.
Between August 19 and 22, the rivers flowed about 68 cm over the safety mark in some places of the district.
The fishing industry and fish farmers were also hit by cyclone Ampan on May 20 when fish worth Tk 24.57 crore got washed away.
Al Mamun, 48, a fish farmer at Char Jamuna village of Rangabali upazila, said his fish farm on five acres of land have been inundated and ruined about 15 days ago.
He added that he was just trying to recover from the losses caused by Ampan.
Shrimp farmers in Bagerhat said they have suffered more in recent weeks than during cyclone Amphan.
In the last few days, incessant rains and tidal waters have ruined 5,500 shrimp farms in the district. The farmers have counted losses of Tk 12 crore, according to the fisheries officers.
Shrimp farmer Kamrul of Rampal said, "My three brothers and I lost over Tk 2 crore during Amphan. Then we started farming again with borrowed money. But now our shrimp worth about TK 1.5 crores have been washed away."
In Sirajganj, the continuous flood in the last three months damaged fish resources in one of the biggest fish producing areas in Chalanbeel.
Over 155 tonnes of local fish have been washed away in the flood water in the last few months.
In Manikganj, 3,511 fish farmers were affected as their fish and fish fry got washed away in the flood waters.
Fisheries officer Saiful Islam of Manikganj said, "Many farmers are coming to us asking for the incentives announced for farmers hit by the pandemic.
[Our correspondents in Patuakhali, Bagerhat, Manikganj and Pabna contributed to this report]