Indiscriminate use of current nets in the coastal waters of the Sundarbans and adjacent areas has put fish resources there in peril.
Breeding of different species of fish is being hampered beside the fish resources being destroyed largely.
If the situation continues, the rivers and canals in the region will be denuded of the fish resources, according to fish experts and environmentalists.Fishing by using current nets is destroying fish resources especially in coastal Mongla upazila and its adjacent areas.And a section of corrupt forest officials are providing aid for this practice.Current nets are on rampant sale at the local markets during the present government.Each kilogram of current nets is selling at prices ranging from Tk 1500 to Tk4,000.
Fish fries and zooplanktons of 462 species are being affected for collecting crayfish fry from the Sundarbans as the current nets are used to catch them.Sources at Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) said fries of 119 shrimp species, 312 zooplankton species and 31 native fish species are being destroyed for collecting crayfish fry from the adjacent areas of the Sundarbans while 46 shrimp species, 35 zooplankton species and 11 native fish species are being destroyed by collecting crayfish fry from the other areas.Fish of native species in the southern areas are on decline as fishermen are collecting fish in an unplanned way and salinity of water is increasing in the coastal areas due to global climate change impacts, environmentalists said.Although there is a ban in force, some fishermen are catching fish fry by using current nets in the sea, Pashur River and Sundurban coastal areas with the help of government officials, they alleged.Fish of native species are decreasing in the coastal areas near the Sundarbans by around 1,000 tonnes every year as use of current nets is increasing there effectively, according to experts.Some of the threatened species include mola, dhela, koi, puti, bele, shing, murli, taki and tengra.
According to an official account, over 50 native species of fish have vanished in the last one decade in coastal areas near the Sundarbans.Researchers said the native fish species will vanish totally within next 10 years if the current situation does not change.A student of the Geology department of Government BL College said over 54 native species of fish have disappeared among 260 species of freshwater fish in the areas.Fish researchers said some fishermen and fish traders are collecting huge amount of crayfish and fries by using of several thousands of current nets in the Bay of Bengal, rivers and canals in the coastal region. -UNB, Khulna