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Fishermen frustrated for ban on hilsa netting

Published : Thursday, 11 October, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 122

NOAKHALI, Oct 10: The fishermen and their families living on Meghna riverbank are frustrated as the government has imposed a 22-day ban on hilsa netting from October 7 till October 28.
They are now passing their idle days amid hardship. But, the district administration sources said they will provide help to the fishermen and their families during the ban period.
The 22-day ban period is the breeding season of hilsa. So, the ban has been imposed so that the safe breeding of hilsa is not hampered.
Meanwhile, the fishermen families who are mostly poor said they have no alternative income sources so that they can maintain their families. They claimed that the hilsa releases eggs before the period when the ban is imposed.
Veteran fisherman Sudhan Das, who has been netting hilsa from Meghna for the last 30 years, said, the hilsas roam around the sea and the river this time when the ban has been imposed. Huge hilsa is netted at this time. But, due to the ban, they can't catch hilsa. As a result, the roaming hilsas go towards Indian part of the Bay of Bengal which Indian fishermen net aplenty. He, however, demanded change in the ban period.
Fisherman Abdul Haque of Chairman Ghat in Hatiya Upazila said the ban is imposed when there is huge hilsa in the sea and the river. Similarly, when the ban is withdrawn, there is hardly any hilsa. As a result, the fishermen who live by netting hilsa face setback in maintaining their families.
The fishermen said they have to struggle for earning their livelihood. They have to face natural disasters and pirate attacks.
Government sources said only 8,524 registered fishermen will get 20 kg of rice each during the ban period, but the remaining 23,195 fishermen will remain out of the facility.
Fishermen said the allocated 20 kg rice can hardly meet their demand. So, they demanded an increase in the allocation.  
In this connection, District Fisheries Officer Dr Md Motaleb Hossen said, "We have informed the higher authority to increase the allocation."
He, however, admitted that the allocated 20 kg rice is insufficient for a fisherman family.

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