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August 8, 2014
Correction on CAA Licenses for Shrimp Farms
On August 5, 2014, Shrimp News posted an item about India’s Coastal Aquaculture Authority not being able to license new shrimp farms in the state of Tamil Nadu because it did not have enough employees to get the job done. That item appears in its entirety at the end of this report.
On August 8, 2014, Shrimp News received the following letter from Dr. P. Ravichandran, Member Secretary, of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority:
In reference to the news item, India—Tamil Nadu—Farm Licenses Not Available, that appeared on your website on August 5, 2014, which was actually a summary of an article that appeared in the New Indian Express on August 4, 2014, I would like to inform you that the newspaper article contained misleading information. We have sent a correction to the newspaper and have attached a copy of it to this email. Since you posted the misleading information to your website, I would like you to post my letter to the newspaper to your website.
Dr. P. Ravichandran’s Letter to the New Indian Express
With reference to the news item “With No One to Grant Licenses, Shrimp Farmers in Legal Limbo” that appeared in the New Indian Express on August 4, 2014, I want to point out that the news item contains a number of inaccuracies and is misleading your readers. Here are the facts:
1. There is absolutely no proposal pending with CAA for registration of coastal aquaculture farms.
2. Proposals received from State Level Committees and District Level Committees for the purpose of registration are immediately processed and registration certificates are issued.
3. With reference to Penaeus vannamei hatcheries and farms, permission is given only after due inspection for compliance of statutory requirements.
4. Monitoring and surveillance of shrimp hatcheries and farms are being carried out by CAA as per the statutory provisions, and it is not correct to state that there is no proper authority to control the affairs. Whenever any violations of the CAA Act are brought to the notice of the Authority, actions have been taken in accordance with law.
In the future, please verify your reports before publishing them.
Dr. P. Ravichandran.
The Item as Published in Shrimp News
Tamil Nadu—Farm Licenses Not Available
A majority of shrimp farms in Tamil Nadu, a major shrimp farming state on India’s southeast coast, are operating illegally because the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), which faces a shortage of employees, is unable to issue licenses to register and regulate shrimp farms.
Only two positions, an assistant director and technical assistant, out of seven positions have been filled. The situation was slightly better in early 2013 when three positions were filled, but then, the director’s position became vacant.
The State Fisheries Board approves licenses for farms and sends them to CAA, but CAA hasn’t been able to issue licenses to farmers.
Shrimp farmers who have started farms without licenses face a fine of $16,411 or imprisonment of three years or both, according to the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) Act of 2005. It is believed that about 60 percent of the shrimp farms in the State are unregistered. “It’s been two years since I applied for a license to get my farm registered, and I’m still waiting,” said Rajendran of Pattukottai. “When I went to the CAA for the third time, I was told that my application was lost. Then I reapplied, but the wait has not ended.”
“I don’t have a license but I’m given the seeds by the hatcheries, which don’t insist on the farm having a license. The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) also supports me with supplements. After I’m done farming, the produce is taken for export, and I get my income. But after all this, they come for inspection and destroy my farm by putting bleach in it for not having a license,” Rajendran said.
“In the absence of a director, there is no proper authority to control the affairs. Sometimes they register all the farms and hatcheries without even inspecting, and sometimes they register none,” said one official.
Sources: 1. The New Indian Express. With No One to Grant Licenses, Shrimp Farmers in Legal Limbo. Aditi R. August 4, 2014. 2. Email to Shrimp News International from Dr. P. Ravichandran. Subject: Rejointer for News Item. August 8, 2014.
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