The entry of large business houses into the Sundarbans is not only jeopardising the interests of local fisherfolk, but also causing major ecological damage.

The earnings generated between prawn farming and prawn export show an 80 fold jump.

Attacks on prawn collectors by kamot, a small species of shark, are normally fatal.

M G Rao, then assistant director of fisheries, was the first to attempt breeding tiger prawns in the Palur canal of Chilika in 1981.

The Tatas' attempts to enter the prawn market raises a lot of speculation regarding the extent of their interest in the environmentally touchy lake.

The Chilika Development Authority formed in January this year is yet to formulate management plans for the wetland.

Environment minister Kamal Nath has been caught in the firing line on the Chilika Aquatic Farms project. His order for an environmental impact assessment to be prepared is merely a move to delay taking a decision.

The ecology of the already shrinking Chilika lake is further threatened by the scramble among fisherfolk, farmers and traders to grabe their share of the depleting stock of fish and prawn.Meanwhile the state government too, oblivious of the lake"s deterio

EVERYONE recognises the importance of forests. We have over the years set up several structures and evolved policies to try and conserve them. How effective these are is, of course, another question.

AND NOW, it's the turn of the Orissa Maritime and Chilka Area Development Authority (OMCAD). OMCAD has stepped into the Chilka leasing controversy with an advertisement for leasing three plots around