Dakshin Banga Matsyajibi Forum, the largest representative organisation of small-scale fishermen in Bengal has written to the principal secretary of the state fisheries department urging him to take steps to ensure that pollutants emitted from the factories in Haldia do not mix with the river.

The fishermen’s body pointed out that it is affecting the lives of the small-scale fishermen in Haldia. “Severe pollution, presumably from the effluents from the factories in Haldia, affecting livelihood of the small-scale fishers in Haldia. We are constrained to bring a matter to your urgent attention. We are writing in relation to the high levels of pollution affecting the lives and livelihood of small-scale fishers in Haldia,” reads the letter. It further stated: “During the past two decades, growing levels of water pollution in the stretches of rivers adjacent to Haldia have become an increasing source of concern for fishers in Haldia.

These fishermen, mostly fishing at or near the confluence of rivers Haldi-Hooghly, have come to realise that the river stretches have become unsuitable environments for fish breeding. As a consequence, many fishing families, members of the small-scale marginalised fishing community, are forced to look for work elsewhere…”