Fishing thrives in Bhadra backwaters

Fertile agriculture fields were inundated when the dam was constructed across Bhadra river in Narasimharajapura taluk. However, the backwater provided an ample opportunity for the farmers to engage in fishing.

As per the records, there are over 500 families in the taluk that have been depending on fishing in the backwaters to eke out living. A few families have migrated to the taluk to take up fishing as an occupation. Hundreds of families in Ravooru, Lingapura, Maridibba, Morimatt, Makodu, Lakkunda, Koosagal, Aldara, Bairapura have been depending on fishing in the backwater.

Katla, Rohu, Common Carp, Mrigala, Gojale, Girlu, Suragi, Pattegara, Avlu and other varieties are found in plenty. “There were a plenty of fish species decades ago.

However, about 80 per cent of the species have become extinct,” said fishermen.

Fishing thrives during monsoon. About 10 tonne fish are caught daily in the backwater.

Exported to Malaysia

Normally, fish come to the shore for breeding during monsoon. Hence, more number of fish are caught. The backwater fish is tasty and there is a demand for these fish in the market. Backwater fish are not only sold in the local markets, they also outside the state and the country. As Gojale fish is used in production of oil, they are in demand in Kolkatta, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

One kg of Gojale fish fetches Rs 180 to Rs 200 in the local market. The sellers purchase Gojale fish at Rs 60 to Rs 70 from fishermen and sell it at high price in the market. A few merchants sell Gojale fish locally and a few export it to foreign countries.

Though fish breed during monsoon, the government has not imposed any ban on fishing. As a result, there will be drastic decline in fish species in the future. If fishing in inland water is banned during monsoon, then fish species will increase which will provide an ample of opportunities for fishermen, said public.

‘No power’

Fisheries department assistant director Kavana said “The Fisheries department has no powers to control the price in the market. We do not have any official order on banning inland fishing during monsoon. We can only give suggestion to fishermen. Strict action will be initiated against those who indulge in fishing without obtaining permit.”

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