Sambalpur, Dec 7 (UNI) A sharp decline in fish production in the Hirakud Dam, spread over 935 sq kms, over the years has become a major concern for the fishermen of the three western districts of Orissa.
Every year fish production is dwindling at an alarming rate and at the same time different species of fish had also vanished from this water body, Baragarh District Collector Harihara Panigrahi said while addressing a review meeting of the fish farmers' development society at Baragarh yesterday.
Official sources said the fish production in Hirakud dam was 489.5 MT in 1990-1991 which has reduced to 151.54 MT per year now.
The administration felt that some drastic measures would be required to increase fish production as it has direct link with livelihood of thousands of fishermen of the three revenue districts.
The fishermen alleged that mafias were intentionally catching fish during the breeding season, the period in which fishing was banned while outsiders mainly intruders from Bangladesh were also using zero nets to catch small fish, leading to a sharp decline in fish production.
Equally concerned with the fall of fish production in the dam, the district officials have agreed to set up a joint task force consisting of three revenue districts depending on the dam to control the fish mafias.
The meeting was attended by among others Bargarh Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Panda, Project Director of DRDA Srinivas Kabi, Assistant Director of fisheries Rameswar Saha and officers in charge of different police station across the reservoir.
All of them also shared their views to boost fish production in a bid to bring in a change in the life of the fishermen and poor people depending on Hirakud Dam.