Rampant use of closely knitted mesh nets, popularly known as current nets, poses threat to fish stock in Gaznar Beel in Pabna’s Sujanagar upazila.
Visiting different places of the large waterbody including Shahrirvita, Bostal, Shagota, Hatkhali, Bonkola, Dulai, Ulat, Khoyran, Durgapur and Bodonpur, this correspondent found hundreds of fishermen using banned current nets.
Due to the callous act, mother fish, small fish, even fry are not spared in the waterbody, one of the biggest sources of fish in Pabna.
“The small fish and fish fry can be saved if usual nets are used. But the fishermen are using illegal current nets, causing harm to fish stock in the waterbody,” said Md Fazlul Haque, a resident of Ulat village.
Fishermen have continued the callous act in absence of administrative move, he said, adding that locals fear lack of adequate fish in the large waterbody in the upcoming dry season.
The government’s fish production project in Gaznar Beel is hampered due to rampant fishing with current nets, said Azhar Ali Sheikh, former chairman of Hatkhali union parishad.
Contacted, Sujanagar Upazila Fisheries Officer Abdul Halim said, “We are mostly busy with conducting drives in the flowing rivers to prevent the fishermen from catching hilsa during the ongoing ban period. Taking the opportunity, many fishermen go for catching fish in Gaznar Beel with illegal current nets.”
“Soon we will launch drive in the waterbody,” he said.