NELLORE: The practice of unauthorised aquaculture is widespread in Nellore district. According to data, the activity is officially practised in around 11,434 hectares in the region where the unauthorised farming is allegedly taken up in nearly 10,000 hectares in coastal mandals.
The district is home to 6,516 farmers who have obtained permission from the Fisheries department and TRANSCO to turn their farmlands into aqua ponds in Kavali, Alluru, Vidvaluru, Muthukur, Indukurpeta, Kota, Chittamuru, Vakadu, Tada and Buchireddypalem mandals. Approval from MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority) is required for exports.
People from Tirupati and Chittoor, and also Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have allegedly turned leased lands into aqua ponds without permission. Some hire people from Odisha, West Bengal and Srikakulam to look after the lands at very low wages. Meanwhile, the line departments are seeing a rise in the number of applications for aquafarming.
“The Fisheries department has been receiving around 30 applications on an average per day, which is necessitated by the AP Aqua act. The deadline for applying to practice aquaculture is August 3,” said Nageswar Rao, JD-Fisheries.