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2-month fishing ban in Padma-Meghna from Friday March 1

Fisher communities demand doubling food assistance

Fishery 2024-02-29, 9:41am

images-20-fb3dc28c5f61c025a14c536b7bd404311709178104.jpeg

A fishing boat under maintenance on the Bank of the Meghna. Wikipedia Commons.



Chandpur, Feb 28 - A two-month-long ban on all kinds of fishing including jatka (hilsa fry) in the 70-km Padma-Meghna sanctuary area will come into effect on March 1, impacting 43,000 registered fishermen in Chandpur.

The prohibition, enforced by the district and upazila task forces, aims to preserve the aquatic ecosystem and boost hilsa production.

The sanctuary spans from Shatnal in Matlab Uttar upazila to Charbhairabi in Haimchar upazila. Meetings of the taskforce have been held to ensure the smooth implementation of the government's programme, including awareness sessions with fishermen in villages along the Padma-Meghna.

District Fisheries Officer Golam Mehedi Hasan told UNB that fishermen, who refrained from catching jatka for two months from March 1 to April 30, will be given 40 kg of food aid per person. Rice distribution has already started at the union level. Maximum efforts will be made to implement the decisions of the district task force to protect jatka.

Executive magistrates, deployed as part of the taskforce, are ready to take strict action against any fishermen violating the ban.

Fishermen in areas like Ananda Bazar expressed concerns. Despite their commitment to adhering to the fishing ban, they emphasised  that the provided food assistance is insufficient, due to soaring prices of goods, leading to increased debts.

Jalal Dewan and Hridoy Hossain, fishermen from Meghna coastal village, stressed the need for doubling the government assistance, citing lack of alternative income sources during this period of unemployment.

Chandpur River Police Station Officer-in-Charge Kamruzzaman said the river police have taken all preparations to implement the two-month fishing ban.

If any irregularity is found in the river in this regard, it will be strictly dealt with, he said 

Chandpur Sadar Upazila Senior Fisheries Officer Tanjimul Islam said strict action would be taken if any fisherman disobeys the law. The taskforce will conduct regular drives to protect jatka. - UNB