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Fishermen return to sea to catch fishes as fishing ban goes

Nazimuddin Shyamol | October 29, 2022 00:00:00

CHATTOGRAM, Oct 28: The fishermen with fishing nets, boats and trawlers returned to the Bay and mouths of different rivers in the district as a three-week-long ban on fishing, including hilsa harvesting, came to an end early Friday.

Sources said 200 fishing trawlers, 7,000 engine-run boats and 68,000 country-made, non-engine fishing boats sailed for Karnaphuli River mouth and mouths of other rivers and the Bay to catch fishes on Thursday midnight.

The government imposed the 22-day ban on fishing, including the nationwide hilsa harvesting ban, to ensure smooth brooding of fishes in the country.

Like every year, the fisheries ministry also prohibited catching, collecting, storing, transporting and trading of hilsa, a traditional Bengali delicacy, from October 6 to Oct 28, 2022, to protect mother hilsa and ensure smooth breeding at hilsa breeding sanctuaries, including coastal areas and the Bay of Bengal.

During the ban, hundreds of fishermen remained idle at their respective villages in different upazilas of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar and other coastal districts.

However, the government took various measures for their survival during the three-week ban. The fishermen were provided with rice, wheat, lentil and money in order to help them continue their lives in the period as they had no source of income during that time.

Contacted, organising secretary of Fishing Boat Association Mostak Ahamed said, trawlers, engine driven boats and non-engine boats went to the Bay, coasts and river mouths to resume their trades after more than three weeks. "In Chattogram alone, more than 7,000 engine-run boats have gone to catch fishes on Friday."

Farhana Lovely, district fisheries officer of the fisheries department in the port city said that the quantity of fish has significantly increased due to the ban on fishing during the brooding season.

"Our fishermen are catching huge fish every year. Besides protecting mother hilsa and other fishes, the ban is imposed every year as per Rule 55 (2) of the Maritime Fisheries Act 1983 to increase fishery resources in sea.

Local sources said, fishermen in fishermen's villages in Patenga, Sitakunda, Anwara and Banshkhali started for their respective destinations to catch fish Thursday night after repairing, boats, fishing nets and collecting ice in the last several days.

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