60 –day ban on fishing in six southern districts starts without any propagation compensative subsidy

The two-month total ban on fishing in 340 kilometers areas on five major rivers in six districts of the southern region imposed by the fishing directorate starts on Sunday without any propagation and compensative subsidy.The prohibition effecting from March 1 to April 30 introduced for preventing fishermen from catching fish fry, including jatka (hilsa fry) to facilitate safe spawning and increase national fishing wealth, said Bazlur Rahman, divisional fishery officer.The ban starts for saving fish fries and aiming to give a boost for increasing fishing wealth, he added.However fishermen sources said the ban starts without any propagation, compensative subsidy, awareness and punitive drives and so it would not be successful.According to the regular yearly plan, 340 kilometers areas on Ilisha, Meghna, Tentulia, Bishkhali and Padma rivers of Barisal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barguna, Munshiganj, Chandpur and Laxmipur region has been declared sanctuaries of fishes for this period since 2006, divisional fishery office sources said.The divisional fishery office added that government has imposed total ban against fishing in 100 kilometers from Shatnol to Char Alexander of Meghna, Padma Rivers and branches, 90 kilometers from Madanpur to Char-Shababazpur of Meghna, Ilisha Rivers and branches, 100 kilometers from Veduria to Char Rustom of Bishkhali and Tentulia Rivers and branches and 50 kilometers from Kalapara to Charmanik of estuary areas.Director of Barisal divisional fishery office said they sending letter to law enforcing agencies and local administrations asked help to execute the ban and holding some exchange of views meetings with fishermen groups, no other steps yet taken due to non allotment of funds.Wide advocacy and awareness building propagations among the fishermen, fish markets and fish merchants and drives for the hard punishment against the violators of this ban were needed, he further acknowledged.Bimal Chandra Das, official of fishery directorate (hilsa) said anyone found fishing during the period from March 1 to April 30 in the restricted river-areas will be subjected to punitive action — fine of Tk 5,000 to 10,000, jail and burn his fishing nets. But in last fortnight nothing was happened.Due to lack of fund no special grants, facilities and alternative employment opportunities yet to be provided for the affected and unemployed fishermen, the fishery officials acknowledged.Barisal Correspondent