Hilsa Netting: 22-day ban begins today
The Fishing Directorate ban on fishing for Hilsha in open water sources comes into effect from early today.
The ban will last till October 22 for safe spawning of Hilsa to boost Hilsa resources in the country.
Fish traders and fishermen have meanwhile again demanded proper compensation for the duration of the ban. They claimed that all their members have not been taken into account while deciding compensation during the period.
Israil Pandit, president of Bangladesh Khudra Matasyajibi Samity, said they are not protesting the government ban but calling on the authorities for sufficient compensation for the fishermen affected by the ban.
Bazlur Rashid, deputy director of fishing directorate and divisional fishery officer Barisal, 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 violations.
The department officials, with help from law enforcing agencies and local administration, will form mobile courts and visit different kitchen markets and fish-trading points in the region to help make the anti-fishing ban a success, he said.
Under the fisheries ordinance amended in October 2005, fishermen or traders violating the ban may be fined up to Tk 1,000 with six months imprisonment for the first time and the punishment would double if the offence is repeated by the same offenders.
"We proposed to the ministry to make a list of the three lakh fishermen's family members in the region and allocate each family 20 kg rice for the duration of the ban as grant from the government. But we have received grants for only 1.45 lakh families," said Azizul Haque, Sr. Assistant Director of the fishing directorate in Barisal division .
"This time we have slapped on the 22-day ban on not only netting Hilsa but also on marketing, sales and transportation of all kinds of fish across the country during the period," Bimal Chandra Das, Barisal district fishery officer (Hilsa) said.
The ban covers 7,000 square kilometres of Hilsa breeding grounds at six points of seven coastal districts from Chandpur to different river estuaries, fishery officials said.
Meanwhile Nirob Hossain Tutul, joint secretary of Barisal Fish Merchants association, hailed the 22-day ban on fishing to save boost Hilsa resources in the country. He said the 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.