Ban fails to stop catching hilsa at Shibchar
SHIBCHAR, MADARIPUR, Oct 23: Rampant catching of mother hilsa is going on unabated in Shibchar Upazila of the district.
In the absence of permanent deployment of law-enforcing agencies in chars and adjacent areas of the Padma River, the catching of mother hilsa is not be stopped.
According to field sources, killing of mother hilsa in a festive manner and frying these at the picnic spots is taking place in vast chars, river banks and adjacent areas of the upazila.
In Shibchar of Madaripur, Jajira of Shariatpur, Lohazong of Munsiganj, Dohar of Dhaka, in Sadar portion of Faridpur, sale of mother hilsa and other small ones are going on publicly.
Trading of hilsa over mobile phone is being fixed. Though various ways, hilsas are sent to remote areas. Tent-based makeshift haats and bazaars have been launched on the river bank.
Under a ban period from October 4 to 26, special government drive is going on in Shibchar and Padma River adjacent areas in order to protect mother hilsa.
Already, over 100 temporary installations of several haats and bazaars have been demolished. But due to lack of permanent camps of law-enforcers on the river bank and different chars, fishermen are continuing hilsa netting in the river.
In the downstream of the river, coast guard and navy police are very active. But in the upstream, festive catching is going on.
In Shibchar, mobile court sentenced one year jail term to about 200 fishers.
Fisher Amjad Hossain said, amid the ban time, arrival of hilsas is huge in the Padma. "We sell our catches in different chars," he added.
Fisher Saiful Islam said, "We don't see strict drive in Munsiganj, Jajira and other areas. So we make catching in these areas and sell these."
On condition of anonymity, one customer said, "I came to know that hilsas are available at cheaper rate in Kharakandi area of Matabbarchar. So I have come to purchase some pieces. But the prices seem higher."
Some college students coming on picnic from Faridpur said, "We came to know about hilsa in this char. We have cooked hotchpotch with hilsas: one hilsa for one. Bu we have purchased small-sized hilsas for high price."
Local Jobayer Hossain said, to protect mother hilsas, men of administration go on patrol for twice a day in the river; none comes to the bank.
In chars, bazaars sit from morning to night, he added.
Mother hilsa killing can be stopped if there is permanent patrolling in the river, her further said.
Shibchar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Asaduzzaman said, "We are conducting drive in phases. Fishers are being fined and jailed."
Over 100 selling installations have been demolished, he further said.
But it needs permanent deployment of law-enforcing agencies in the river and chars to stop hilsa-catching, he maintained.