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Fishery is another pivotal economic sector of the state as well as the district economy. It is not only a source of animal protein but also a popular economic activity in a coastal district like Balasore. Because it generates a more remunerative, stable income than agriculture, a number of villagers are getting involved in this activity. The unemployed rural youth are getting a significant opportunity to earn money without migrating elsewhere. Previously, the occupation was limited to ‘Keuta’ sub-caste of Scheduled Caste category but the continuous remunerative earning has attracted all other castes. It is obvious that a long 80 km coastal line provides enormous opportunity for marine fishing. But the district also has enormous inland and brackish water resources suitable for inland fishing.
The fishing of the district may be broadly classified into three categories i.e. a) Marine b) Inland fresh water c) Brackish water. Balasore district is rich in all three forms of fishing as it possesses 80 km of coast line with 538 sq km of continental shelf. The coastal villages of blocks Bhograi, Baliapal, Balasore, Remuna and Bahanaga practise fishing. Twelve landing bases located in the coastal blocks of the district are – Talasari, Kirtania, Kankadapal, Choumukh, Hanskara, Bahabalpur, Chandipur, Mahisali, Khandia, Jamuca, Gadeisagar and Panchubisa (Fig.6.10). As per information provided by the Assistant Director of Fisheries, Marine there are 290 fishing villages located in the marine sector consisting of 14704 families with 115931 population up to 2012. There are 40923 males and 39928 females and the number of children are 35070. Among the total males 25687 are active fishermen i.e. almost 60.77% and rest are engaged as part time fishermen (Manual1, Assistant Director of Fishing, Balasore, 2012). Five marine extension units working in the district are Chandaneswar, Bahabalpur, Chandipur, Baliapal,and Gopalpur (Fig.6.10). There are almost 1672 number of registered fishing boats in operation under different landing bases of the coast, covering different categories namely Trawler, Gillnetter, Motorized and Country Crafts for fishing .In 2009-10 the number was 2213.
Among these blocks, Balasore Sadar is mostly advanced in marine fishing. Continuous demands of marine fishes in foreign countries and other states have encouraged development of fishing harbours in specific locations. Among them, Balramgadi in Balasore plays a significant role. Except this, Kharasahapur, Maharudrapur, Chaumukh, Udaipur, Talsari, Kasafal are locally known standard fishing spots (Fig.6.10). Except this, coastal belt fishing is done at a small scale to supply the local market, and for consumption. The villages located along the coast engage in fishing beside cultivation. But in many cases agriculture holds a passive role in the economy. As the lands are salt effected in the coastal parts of Balasore, Remuna, Baliapal, Bahanaga so the lands are used as water tanks or ‘Bheries’ to cultivate salt water fishes like lobster, bhetki , etc inducing a change of land use. However the Orissa Fishing Act plays its own role in legislative control over fishing.

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