Four days before Ashwin's Purnima and 18 days after Purnima, most of the boats and trawlers' fuel oil shops have been closed in the market of coastal areas of the country, adjacent to Fishari Ghat following the announcement of prohibition of catching hilsa. Fish warehouses have also been advised not to collect hilsa.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock sources said the hilsa catching has been banned for 22 days from Wednesday (October 9) to October 30. At this time, the collection, transportation, storage, marketing, sale and exchange of hilsa will be prohibited. If anybody disobeys this law, there are provisions for either jail or fine or both.
About 80 percent of the mother hilsa lays eggs at this time. A large hilsa can lay up to 2.3 million eggs. Food assistance will be given to the fishermen who are depended on fishing, during the ban period.
Assistant Director of the District Marine Fisheries Department Nazim Uddin said the District Task Force is always active in the process of implementing the 22-day program announced by the government. At this time, the Coast Guard and the naval police team will be campaigning on the river, led by the executive magistrates, to ensure the breeding of the fish without any interruption.
According to the research by the Department of Fisheries, two of the six main production centers of hilsa are- Haitkandi from Shaherkhali of the northeast Mirsarai Upazila, Kutubdia-Gondamara Point in the Kutubdia upazila of southeast Cox's Bazar.
President of Fisheri Ghat Traders Association Mohammad Ali said huge amount of hilsa was captured in the sea during this hisha season. The hilsa was captured throughout the whole Vadra month. Due to the ban, the movement of offshore trawlers is now stopped. Therefore, all activities including fish collection, transportation have been stopped.
President of the Fishing Boat Owners Association Noor Hossain said fishing trawlers which are used to floating in the open sea, are sitting idle now on the two sides of Karnaphuli. The fishermen are spending idle time sitting on the banks of the river, repairing old parts, repairing the net.
Sumat Jaldas, a Patharghata fisherman, complained that the family of about 4,000 fishermen in Chattogram did not receive any government assistance during the 65-day ban. They were excluded from the list made by the Department of Fisheries. Although fishing is stopped in Bangladesh part of the time, Myanmar and Indian fishermen are still catching fish.
It is reported that earlier, during the period of the ban of hilsa collection, the family of 24 thousand 4 fishery families in Sitakunda, Mirsharai, Sandwip, Banshkhali and Anwara areas were given 40 kg rice per family. Among them, about 5,000 of the fishermen in Sitakunda refused to accept the rice. Nearly two and a half thousand fishery families from North Kattali to Mohra area and one and a half thousand fishery families in Karnaphuli upazila have not received any help before.
In this regard, Assistant Director of the District Maritime Fisheries Department, Nazim Uddin, said that the listed fishermen usually get priority. Those who do not have names in the list do not get allocated.
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