Fishermen return to bay after 22-day fishing ban
Fishermen began returning to the Bay of Bengal from 12pm on Saturday as a 22-day fishing ban on Hilsa – imposed to ensure the safe spawning of fish during its peak spawning period – ended .
Many fishermen said they suffered financial hardship during the fishing ban and had to borrow money to survive. So they started preparing nets and boats a week earlier so they could resume their activities as soon as the ban was lifted.
Fisherman Liakat Ali said: “I feel good after boarding the boat. I go to the sea to pay off my debts by catching fish and selling them on the quay.
Liakat said he received rice as food aid from the government during the fishing ban, but it was not enough to support himself and his family.
Liton Jaldas, general secretary of the North Chattla Coastal Jaldas Cooperative Welfare Association, told TBS: “There are 5,600 registered fishermen in the North Chattogram. Many of them have not received rice as aid. government during the fishing ban, so they took out loans at high interest rates.”
On this, Chattogram District Fishery Officer, Farhana Lovely, told TBS, “There are 26,992 registered fishermen in Chattogram. trade union councils.”
Meanwhile, Cyclone Sitrang caused heavy damage to fishing trawlers anchored at Muslimabad Ghat in Patenga, Dhumpara and Anandabazar in Halishahar, Akmal Ali Ghat in EPZ and Rashmoni Ghat in Kattali in Chattogram areas. Currently, only trawlers that have not been injured by the storm are returning to sea, the fishermen said.
According to the non-profit research and innovation institution WorldFish, the country supplies 85% of the world’s Hilsa. According to the Department of Fisheries, 5.65 lakh tons of Hilsa were extracted from the country’s rivers and seas in FY21 compared to 5.5 lakh tons in FY20.
In terms of Hilsa production, Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar districts rank fourth and fifth respectively.