Many affected farmers said their loss was extensive this time since most of their ponds were stocked with a large quantities of fish
As many as 5,500 fish farmers in Gopalganj district have suffered huge losses, estimated at around Tk50 crore, in this year’s floods that washed away their ponds.
After the floods washed away 6,681 ponds in the district, about 3,212 tons of fish from the ponds escaped into floodwaters, according to the Fisheries Department in the district.
Fisheries Officer Biswajit Bairagi said the flood caused Tk50 crore worth of loss to the fish farms and Tk 6.79 crore of it is infrastructural damage. The loss also includes Tk3.47 crore worth of baby fish which were washed away by floodwaters.
Fish farming plays a vital role in meeting demand of protein intake for Gopalganj’s 11.72 lakh inhabitants as the local farms, run by 16,500 farmers, produce almost half of the fish required annually in the district, he also said.
Many affected farmers said their loss was extensive this time since most of their ponds were stocked with a large quantities of fish.
While speaking with this correspondent, fish farmer Devdas, from Machbari village in Kotalipara upazila, said this year he spent Taka six lakh on his six bighas of land, and before getting flooded, the ponds had 60 to 70 maunds of fish, each weighing 500 to 600 grams.
He said all the fish have been washed away by the floodwater. Otherwise, three months later, he could make Tk 12 to 15 lakh from the fish and 50 percent of it would be profit.
Komola Sarker, another fish farmer from the village in the same upazila, said she invested Tk30 lakh in a netted fish enclosure in an open waterbody. But he lost the entire investment due to the flood.
Without assistance from the authorities concerned, especially without loans or subsidies, the fish farmers might not be able to recover the loss and stand up on their feet again, said Michael Ojha, chairman of Kotalipara union council.
Fisheries Officer Biswajit Bairagi said they have already taken steps to recover the losses.