Hilsa fishing resumes after 22 days

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Ilish (Hilsha) hunters started journey to the Bay of Bengal and rivers, adjacent to the Sundarbans with their rafts and nets for catching fish while the 22-day ban was ended at 12.01am on Tuesday.

Officials at the Department of Fisheries said thousands of fishermen of the coastal districts started their journey to the Bay of Bengal last night for catching hilsa fish 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 22 days from October 4, 2021 to boost Hilsa production through 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 (RAB) conducted different drives to prevent Hilsa fishing during the period.

In the meantime, executive magistrates conducted mobile courts and punished a number of fishermen who violated the ban.

In the last 22-day, Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) arrested 257 fishermen, seized 6.38 crore of illegal fishing net, 115 boats and 9,832 kilograms of Hilsha fish and fined Taka 233.64 crore while conducting 3,049 drives in the coastal belt and rivers, said a press release issued by BCG media officer and lieutenant of Bangladesh Navy Khondokar Munif Taki.

All illegal fish netting ingredients were blazed in presence of Fisheries officials and collected Hilsha fishes were handed over to different orphanages, the release added.

The fishermen brought their trawlers to rivers from the dockyard. They also prepared their daily essentials to load those in the trawlers as they have to pass days in the deep sea during the fishing season, they said.

Families of more than 50,000 registered fishermen in South-Western districts were busy to prepare their boats, nets and other materials for starting their voyage to catch Hilsha fish.

“For the last 22 days, we could not able to go to the rivers for catching fish due to the government’s restriction. We’ve maintained our livelihood with the government’s supports,” Alam Howlader, a fisherman of Chila area of Mongla upazila in Bagerhat district said on Tuesday.