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BFBOA wants govt to lift fishing ban in Bay

FE Report | May 19, 2019 00:00:00

Bangladesh Fishing Boat Owners Association (BFBOA) has demanded withdrawal of a 65-day fishing ban in the Bay of Bengal.

The demand came at a human chain formed by BFBOA and their employed fishermen in front of the National Press Club in the city on Saturday.

Every year the government imposes a 65-day ban from May 20 on fishing by commercial trawlers and boats in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Bay of Bengal aiming to conserve and boost the country's marine fish stocks, according to Department of Fisheries.

After the human chain programme, Federation of Bangladesh Fishermen Unity president Rabindranath Barman at a press conference said it is a good initiative that the government aims to conserve the marine ecology of the Bay.

"But the government should also take into account the livelihood of 0.35 million fishermen and 28,000 fishing boat owners in the coastal districts," he added.

Anwar Hossain Sikder, member secretary of BFBOA, said there is no logic behind the ban as Indian and Myanmar governments haven't taken such initiatives.

The ban on fishing in 200 nautical miles of the sea is only benefiting Indian and Myanmar traders and fishermen, he claimed.

He said: "The government's efforts are going in vain as foreign intruders are fishing in the Bay during the ban period."

Chandpur Fishing Boat Owners Association president Shah Alam Mallik and Charfashion Boat Owners Association secretary Md Hossain Mian also spoke at the press conference.

BFBOA leaders said if the government doesn't withdraw the ban, they will go for tougher movement from May 25.

Boat owners will lay siege to the river estuaries on the day, they said.

Considering breeding and conservation of fish and other species, a ban on fishing in the country's exclusive economic zone in the Bay of Bengal will be imposed from May 20 to July 23.

The EEZ is the sea zone which extends to 200 nautical miles from a coastal state and the country has sovereign rights for use and exploration of marine resources, including oil and gas.

Currently, Bangladesh produces 0.7 million tonnes of marine fishes every year. More than 200 commercial fishing trawlers and 28,000 fishing boats are involved in catching fish.

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