The government has approved a national conservation strategy plan for the conservation of endangered species, including Sharks and Rays, and control of overfishing of unwanted fish species.
The action plan will reduce overfishing and unwanted fishing of Sharks and Rays and 'Non-Detriment Findings' will play an important role to prevent the decline of the number of groups of endangered 2 Shark and 2 Ray species.
Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin said this on Wednesday after his ministry approved the plan at a meeting held at the ministry.
He said that the conservation of Sharks and Rays will be ensured by implementing action plans through better management, regular monitoring, law enforcement and stakeholders' involvement.
The ministry approved 'Non Detriment Findings' of groups of 2 Shark species and 2 Ray species and 'National Conservation Strategy and Plan of Action for Sharks and Rays in Bangladesh 2023-2033' prepared under the Sufal project.
The Environment Minister said Sharks and Rays are important to the health of our coastal and marine ecosystems. However, overfishing and illegal international trade of their body parts are threatening their existence.
Sharks and Rays fish species that are at high risk of extinction are strictly protected by our national laws.
All law enforcement agencies must effectively enforce laws to protect these species. The support of Customs, Police, Border Guard, Navy, Coast Guard and Maritime Police is crucial to prevent the extinction of these species and stop the illegal wildlife trade, he continued.
The Forest Minister said that this strategic plan related to Sharks and Rays has been prepared through discussions with various agencies, departments, ministries, traders, communities and foreign consultants.
The National Conservation Strategy and Plan of Action prepared for Sharks and Rays in Bangladesh is not only a strategic guideline for actions taken on a priority basis for their conservation. Rather, exemplary guidelines for improving their condition. We must act collectively now to ensure the protection of Sharks and Rays.
Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Farhina Ahmed, and Additional Secretary (Development) Mizanul Hoque Chowdhury were present in the meeting among others.