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August 5, 2014


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.  “I’m tired of making representations everywhere, from the Collector and Revenue Department to the CAA.  It’s been two and a half years,” says N. Chellappa from Muthupettai in Tiruvarur District.


“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.


Source: The New Indian Express.  With No One to Grant Licenses, Shrimp Farmers in Legal Limbo.  Aditi R.   August 4, 2014.

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