Govt launches ‘Eco Fish’ project for sustainable hilsa

Govt launches ‘Eco Fish’ project for sustainable hilsa

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The government has undertaken a project named ‘Eco Fish’ in the rivers of the coastal areas under nine districts for sustainable fisheries, especially hilsa fish, and biodiversity.The project includes a research in the first time over the propagation and breeding times of hilsa in the coastal districts as well as the management of alternative employment for the fishermen during the countrywide ban on catching, trading and marketing of jatka (hilsa fry less than 10 inches or 26 centimetres in length).Works of the five-year term project spending Tk 90 crore that will be implemented in the nine districts—Pirojopur, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barguna, Shariatpur, Laxmipur and Chandpur–, began primarily in March this year.WorldFish, USAID and Bangladesh Government have come together to support the country’s coastal fishing communities and improve food security through research-led fisheries management initiatives.The WorldFish will also give the fisheries department financial and technical support to implement the project.A special team of Rhode Island of the US will give training to a group of 30 workers related to the project in the capital from May 31 to June 18, said Sanzida Haque, a research assistant of WorldFish.It is the first time project in the coastal nine districts to save biodiversity in the rivers and sea, make general public conscious about preservation of native fishes and create alternative employment, Sanzida Haque.Meanwhile, a three-day long training programme was held on dried fish at Kua Kata in Patuakhali district.The district fisheries office in association with a scientist of the WorldFish will implement the project.Pirojpur fisheries officer Dr Oliur Rahman said a survey began in different areas of Pirojpur district under the ‘Eco Fish project’.Project team leader Abdul Wahab, also dean of the Fisheries Department of Bangladesh Agricultural University, said it is the main mission of the project to assist 4-5 lakh fishermen to be self-reliant by catching adult fish instead of jatka or fish fry through nets or other systems in the sanctuaries of hilsa in the nine districts. -UNB, Pirojpur

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