Barishal – A 60-day fishing ban is set to begin on Sunday in five major rivers and their tributaries in the southern districts to facilitate safe breeding and spawning of different species of fish, including hilsa.
The directorate of fisheries in an order asked the fishermen not to venture into the rivers from March 1 to April 30 for fishing. The restriction will to give boost to fish output in the coming season, divisional fisheries officer Syed Azizul Haque said.
But the fishermen, who live on this trade, vented frustration saying that the restriction was ordered without giving proper compensation to a large group of people.
According to the government plan, a 392- kilometer stretch of Ilisha, Meghna, Tentulia, Bishkhali and Padma rivers and their tributaries passing through Barishal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Shariatpur, Chandpur and Laxmipur districts will be come under the purview of the ban.
This area was declared sanctuaries of fishes in 2006.
A total restriction against fishing will be in force in 100 kilometers from Shatnol to Char Alexander of Meghna, Padma Rivers, 90 kilometers from Madanpur to Char-Shababazpur of Meghna and Ilisha Rivers, 100 kilometers from Veduria to Char Rustom of Bishkhali and Tentulia Rivers, 20 km from Vedorgonj to Matlab of Meghna River and 82 kilometers from Kalapara to Charmanik of estuary areas, according to the order.
Fishery officials said anyone found fishing during the period in the restricted waters will be subjected to fine of 5,000 taka to 10,000 taka and imprisonment. Their fishing nets will be confiscated and destroyed.
Dr. Bimal Chandra Das, Barishal district fishery officer (hilsa), said total 174000 out of over 352000 fishermen have been receiving 40 kg rice per month from February as subsidy for the ban period. The support will continue until May 2020, he added.
Due to lack of fund no special grants, facilities and alternative employment opportunities could be provided for all the affected fishermen, the official added.
Israil Pandit, president Khudra Matsyajibi Samity of small fishermen, however, said without any propagation and compensative subsidy, government initiative of 60-day fishing ban may not be successful.
newsnextbd.com/n/Anisur Rahman reporting from Barishal