Indiscriminate use of current nets is threatening extinction of fish stock in the Bay and its adjacent rivers in the coastal areas of Barguna.
The rivers include Boleshwar, Payra, Bishkhali, Ramnabad, Buragourango, Tentulia and Lohalia.
Despite regular drives by the authorities concerned to prevent the use of current nets, a section of fishermen continued catching fish with the nets, said Md Nazrul Islam, field officer of Pathorghata upazila fish office.
During a recent visit, this correspondent saw some fishermen catching hilsa and other fishe with current nets in the Boleshwar river under Pathorghata upazila.
Abdul Halim, a fisherman of Nishanbaria in the upazila, said he has to run his six-member family by fishing. He catches fish in Boleshwar with current nets to get more fish easily.
“I know about the negative impact of current nets but I have no alternative as other type nets hardly catch fish,” he said.
Another fisherman Abul Bashar of the same area said mobile courts often destroy current nets but they have no alternative to catch fish.
Sarder Mohiuddin, Barguna district fisheries officer (DFO), said they are taking legal steps against current nets but a section of fishermen often catch fish with current nets to get more fish, threatening fish stocks in the Bay and rivers.
About 23.26 lakh metres of current nets were seized in 475 drives in different rivers of the district from January 1 till March 20, said the DFO, adding that they also realised Tk 2.79 as fine and seven fishermen were sent to jail.
Mollah Emdadullah, Patuakhali district fisheries officer, said they are showing zero tolerance to the use of current nets and conducting drives regularly to protect fish.
Lieutenant Shakil, commander of the south zone of coastguard, said around 1.95 lakh metres of current nets were seized in 170 drives on the Bay under Barguna from January 1 this year and it is their routine works.