GUWAHATI, May 4 - Northeast India�s largest fish seed market located on the banks of the Borolia river in Rangiya opened on Monday after being shut for one and half months due to the lockdown. Some 500 people are directly associated with the market. Fish seeds � fish fries and fingerlings � from as far as Kolkata and Bangladesh are brought for trade here.
�Farmers from other Northeastern states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland buy seeds from this market. It was closed since March 15. Today, it reopened and the District Fishery Development Officer and SDO briefed the traders on the protocol to be followed with regards to hygiene and social distancing,� an official said.
On a normal day, two to 30 trucks carry fish seeds from the market to different places of the Northeast. Each truck carries around 5 lakh fish seeds. �This is the stocking season. If seeds are not made available to the farmers, the production may dip by more than half next year,� the official said.
Around 2.43 lakh people connected with the fishery sector of Assam have been affected by the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the sector suffering a loss of more than Rs 160 crore so far.
Some 1,361 wholesalers, 16,748 retailers, 12,923 vendors, 1,15,677 fishers and fish workers, 408 fish seed hatchery owners and 4,799 fish seed growers have been affected across the State.
Not only has the entire fish marketing channel got dislocated, the inter-district and inter-state import-export activities of fish marketing have also got disrupted.