Beginning of fishing ban in the Bay of Bengal
OUR CORRESPONDENT |
May 21, 2021, 9:52 a.m.
CHATTOGRAM: The government’s two-month ban on fishing off the country’s coast to boost depleted fish stocks began on Thursday.
The 65-day ban – from May 20 to July 23 – is scheduled to take place with the fish breeding season. All types of fishing boats will fall under the restriction, officials said. The Navy and Coast Guard are reportedly enforcing the ban from Thursday to ensure safe and proper breeding of fish in the country’s coastal waters and its territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal.
The organizing secretary of the Association of Fishing Boats, Mostak Ahmad, told FE on Thursday that more than 8,000 motorboats or fishing trawlers had returned to the ghats (local coastal terminal) on Wednesday, a day before the entry into force of the two-month ban.
However, he said, a few other boats that remained on the high seas yesterday would return to the coasts either today (Thursday) or in the next few days.
According to local administration sources, the government imposed the ban because the capture of fish off the coast and in Bangladesh’s territorial waters in the bay has increased significantly during the breeding season from May to July in recent years. .
Officials said the government has allocated rice to all fishermen affected by the sea fishing ban.
During the 65-day ban, relevant authorities will step up surveillance in coastal areas and the territorial waters of the bay to prevent local and foreign fishermen from fishing and take legal action against those who flout the rules.
According to sources, there are at least 248 large fishing boats or motor trawlers in the country that are used for commercial fishing.
Among the large trawlers, 200 regularly engage in commercial fishing on the coasts and in the bay, but the boats remain anchored on
Karnaphuli River during the two-month fishing ban each year.
In addition, approximately 68,000 vessels, with and without engines, operate within a 32,440 square kilometer radius off the country’s coast until they reach the depth of 40 meters which is demarcated as the first level of fishing. at sea.
Only 241 vessels, registered by the government, are authorized to access the second and third levels for fishing.
The second level extends from a depth of 40 meters to 200 meters while the third starts from the depth of 200 meters and from there the vessel can move forward and fish until it reaches the end of the exclusive economic zone.
It can be mentioned that Bangladesh acquired rights to 118,813 square kilometers of territorial sea and 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone by settling maritime border disputes with Myanmar and India.
Cox’s Bazar district official of the Fisheries Department Khalikujjaman said: “The government ban on large motor boats will be maintained for 65 days while for small boats the restriction will only last 22 days.
The Scientific Director of the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute in Cox’s Bazar, Dr Shafiqur Rahman, said: “It is true that fishermen will suffer for a limited period from the prohibition of sea fishing during the breeding season. “