The government will deploy the air force this time to monitor strictly, says minister

TBS Report

06 October, 2022, 10:20 pm

Last modified: 06 October, 2022, 10:22 pm

File photo of fishermen catching hilsha. Photo: Reuters

File photo of fishermen catching hilsha. Photo: Reuters

File photo of fishermen catching hilsha. Photo: Reuters

The government has imposed a 22-day ban on catching and selling hilsa fish starting Friday (7 October) as part of its efforts to increase foreign exchange earnings with fish production, by saving spawning mother hilsa.

“In the time of the ban, we will monitor from the sky with the help of our air force whether anyone is fishing hilsa. Our naval police, coastguard, navy and administration will work together to this end,” Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said on Thursday, at a press conference organised to declare the ban at the Secretariat in the capital.

To ensure mother hilsa fishing stops completely, ice mills in some particular areas of the country will be shut down temporarily, he said, adding that any who try to violate the temporary ban will be confronted by mobile courts.

The minister also noted that Bangladesh has so far exported 1,352 tonnes of hilsa worth Tk141.64 crore this year.

Hilsa production almost doubled to 5.65 lakh tonnes in FY21 over the last 12 years. It was just 2.98 lakh tonnes in FY09, which helped the country earn more foreign currency, Rezaul Karim said. He said hilsa reproduction however, has been hampered slightly by climate change, illegal sand lifting from riverbeds, river erosion, and water contamination.

“Nevertheless, production has increased, thanks to various timely government initiatives. Hilsa can now be found even in some small rivers and unexpected places.”

On soaring hilsa prices, the minister said it is very normal that the price of hilsa will increase over time.

The ministry press conference informed reporters that the allocation of rice as compensation to fishermen for their income loss during the ban which will end 28 October, has been increased 20kg to 25 kg per fisherman.

A total of 5.54 lakh fisherman families in 155 upazilas of 37 districts will be provided 13,872 tonnes of rice this year. The safety net coverage will be increased in phases, the press conference informed.

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