Prawn culture has assumed great significance since
1982-83 when brackish water prawn culture started. It is being expanded as
Orissa has a long coast line covering old Cuttack, Puri, Baleshwar
and Ganjam districts.
In the coastal region of the state,1,263 mechanised boats and
3,500 country craft are operating from fishing centres
like Chandipur, Chudamani, Salugaon, Kalupadgha, Pathara and Najari, where
fishing jetties have been constructed. At Gopalpur,
Dhamara and Astarang all -weather fishing ports have been built. While at
Paradeep a large deep sea fishing port has come up. When Paradeep is
fully operational it will have a fleet of 50 deep sea fishing vessels and
500 mechanised boats.
Orissa shrimp seed production centre (OSSPC) which is
the only one of its kind in the country has been started. This centre is
cultivating 'Bagda' type prawn which fetches a very high price in foreign
Freshwater resources have been estimated to be 80,000 ponds of
various sizes, 4,000 Km of river channels and canals and 0.25 million hectares
of reservoirs which are suitable for fresh water fish cultivation, for which
there is a ready local market. The catch finds a ready market either in Calcutta
or in Orissa. The Kaibartas of Ganjam, the Nolias of Puri, the Gokhas of Cuttack
and the Keatas of Balasore are the principal social groups who depend primarily
on fishing. The Hirakud, Balimela, Salandi and the Bhimakurd reservoirs are the
potential places for fish culture.