Published:  01:33 AM, 09 October 2019

22-day anti-fishing drive starts to save Hilsa

22-day anti-fishing drive starts to save Hilsa

 Fishing directorate starts total ban against fishing on open water sources of Hilsa region from early Wednesday October 9 to October 30.

 The ban was imposed to ensure safe spawning as well as proper breeding environment for the mother Hilsa to boost Hilsa resources in the country. Fish traders hailed the decision calling to take steps against infiltration of foreign fishing boats in Bangladesh coastal territory and fishermen demanded compensation for the ban-period.

  'We have slapped  the 22-day ban not on netting Hilsa only, but also on netting, marketing, sales and transportation of all kinds of fish in different regions of the country,' said Bimal Chandra Das, Barisal district  fishery officer.

This total fishing ban would be valid in 7,000 square kilometres of Hilsa breeding grounds at six sanctuary points of seven coastal districts from Chandpur to different river estuaries, to avoid complicacy, the fishery official said.

Waliur Rahman, deputy director of fishing directorate and divisional fishery officer Barishal, said the district and upazila administrations and law enforcers including navy, coast guards, have been asked to monitor the enforcement of the ban and take action against any violation.

Fishery department with the help of law enforcing agencies and local administration forming mobile courts will visit different kitchen markets and fish-trading points in the region to execute the anti-fishing ban successful, divisional fishery officer added.

Under the fisheries ordinance amended in October 2005, fishermen or traders violating the ban may be fined Tk 1,000 with six months imprisonment for the first time and the punishment would double if the same offence is repeated by the same offenders, said fishing directorate officials of Barishal division.

About 3 lakhs fishermen in the region and more than forty thousand in Barishal district enlisted to get per family 20 Kg rice monthly for the ban period as grants from the government. But last year we have received grants only for 1.45 lakh fishermen, Azizul Huq, senior assistant director of divisional fishery office informed.

However the rice yet not reached to the department for distribution among the fishermen families, he added.Officials of the fisheries directorate acknowledging their limitations about campaign to make the 22-day restriction successful, said only creating awareness among fishermen, fish traders and the consumers, the ban could be fruitful and sustainable in long run.

On other hand Nirob Hossain Tutul, joint secretary of Barishal Fish Merchants association, hailing the steps of 22-day ban on fishing said government also have to take steps to prevent infiltration of foreign fishing boats in Bangladesh water-territory in absence of Bangladeshi fishermen during the ban period.

Israil Pandit, president Bangladesh Khudra Matasyajibi Samity, said we are not protesting the government steps, but requesting the concerned authorities to give proper and sufficient compensation and rehabilitation for the fishermen affected by the ban.
 
---Masuk Kamal, Barishal


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