Fishermen ready to resume Hilsa fishing as 65-day ban ends
With rafts and nets for catching fish, Hilsa hunters will My News Bangladesht netting from early tomorrow in the Bay of Bengal and its adjoining rivers, near the Sundarbans after the 65-day ban on fishing in the rivers and the sea across the country.
Over 50,000 fishermen and their family members, stakeholders have become happy as Hilsa fishing resumes at 12 past one minute after the ban and a festive mood is being prevailed at the fisheries ghat areas in the coastal region.
Officials at the Department of Fisheries said thousands of fishermen of the coastal districts were taking preparation last few days to go to the Bay of Bengal to net Hilsa after the long pause.
The government imposed a ban on catching, selling, hoarding, and transportation of Hilsa in the Bay of Bengal and different rivers for 65 days to boost Hilsa production through the protection of the mother fish during its peak breeding season.
Officials at the Fisheries Department, Bangladesh Navy, Coast Guard, District and Upazila administrations, Police and Rapid Action Battalion have conducted drives to prevent Hilsa fishing during the period.
While visiting the Rajoir Fisheries Ghat area at Sharonkhola upazila in Bagerhat on Friday afternoon, this reporter found that the fishermen have already floated their trawlers to the rivers from the dockyard.
The fishermen have also loaded their daily essentials including nets, ice, and fuel to those in the trawlers as they have to pass a few days in the deep sea during the fishing season, they said.
Talking to BSS, local fisherman Zakir Hossain of Zilbunia village, Rustam of Rajeswar village under Sharonkhola upazila, said: “We are expecting a huge catch at the Bay of Bengal and rivers, adjacent to the Sundarbans. We hope that we can pay off our loans to moneylenders which we have taken earlier.”
“We could not go fishing on the river for the last 65 days due to government restrictions. We have maintained our livelihood with the food support from the government,” they said.
Central Vice-President of Bangladesh Fishing Trawler Owners Association and a fish trader of Sharonkhola M Saiful Islam Khokon told BSS around 7,000 registered fishermen of the upazila have My News Bangladeshted their journey towards the Bay to catch Hilsha fish after the 65-day ban.