Breaking: Only 369 licensed shrimp growers in Surat out of thousands illegally farming on government land

Only 369 of these farms have been officially registered and licensed by the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA)


Surat : Surat’s coastal areas, including Olpad and Choriyasi taluka, may be thought to be at the forefront of aquaculture export to international markets, but the reality is much different. There are over 6,000 aqua farms in Surat, all dedicated to growing shrimp for export. However, only 369 of these farms have been officially registered and licensed by the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA).

According to information obtained through the Right to Information Act (RTI) by Darshan Naik, a social activist, the CAA has issued licenses to only 369 shrimp farmers in Olpad taluka, many of whom have yet to renew their licenses.

The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) was established by the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005, and was notified in a Gazette Notification dated December 22, 2005. The Authority’s main goal is to regulate coastal aquaculture activities in coastal areas in order to ensure long-term development without causing harm to the coastal environment.

The Authority has the authority to create regulations for the construction and operation of aquaculture farms in coastal areas, to inspect farms to determine their environmental impact, to register aquaculture farms, to set standards for inputs and effluents, to remove or demolish coastal aquaculture farms that pollute the environment, and so on.

In a letter to Surat district collector Ayush Oak, Naik stated that the coastal villages of Olpad taluka, such as Dandi, Mor, Bhagva, Lavachha, Koba, Mandroi, Karanj, Pardi, Kuvad, Saras, Orma, Olpad, Hathisa, Delsa, Kudiyana, Kapsi, Nesh, Kachhol, and others, house hundreds of illegal shrimp farms. These illegal farms have been built on government-owned lands, undermining the environmental impact, input and effluent standards, blocking natural water channels into the Arabian Sea, and so on.

Despite several representations to the district administration and the State Government, the illegal shrimp farms continue to operate and endanger the lives of thousands of villagers during the monsoon season.

“During the allotment of government lands for shrimp ponds, the local administration does not follow the rules and regulations set by the CAA,” Darshan Naik told The Blunt Times. All farm owners must go through aquaculture training and obtain CAA licences to operate their farms. In Olpad taluka, none of the farmers have CAA licences.”

“Under political patronage, a shrimp farm cartel operates in the talukas of Olpad and Choriyasi. “I have demanded that all such illegal farms on government land be removed immediately to protect the lives and property of the villagers,” Naik added.