Project launched to make efforts more effective
The government last week launched a project to work with fishermen in assessing its current Hilsa conservation efforts and use ecological and socio-economic studies to redesign and improve it to make it even more effective.
The project will be conducted by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and Bangladesh Agricultural University in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries.
The UK Department for Environment and Rural Affairs will fund the project through its Darwin Initiative, states an IIED press release.
The government declared four coastal areas as Hilsa sanctuaries during the breeding season of Hilsa as the fish production went down remarkably. It compensates the nearly 200,000 affected households with 30 kilogrammes of rice each.
“This is a rare example of a scheme that provides direct incentives for fishery conservation and, with improvements, it could provide valuable lessons that are relevant worldwide,” says the project leader, Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed, of IIED.
“The hilsha is a fish in trouble. It is popular and affordable to even low-income families but as more people catch more hilsha, scientists fear the fish population could collapse,” he said.
“The incentive mechanism can help achieve both social and ecological objectives,” said Uzzal Bikash Dutta, secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock during the project's launching.