The government has imposed a ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal for two months from today (Tuesday) to preserve fish stock and ensure proper breeding.
The fishing ban will be ended on July 23 next.
Organising secretary of Fishing Boat Association Mostak Ahamod said that more than 7,000 engine boats returned back to the ghats on Sunday due to the ban. However, some of the boats which still remain in the deep-sea will come back within two days.
He said around 0.8 million fishermen are engaged with sea fishing and the families of the fishermen will suffer due to the ban. The allocation of rice and food should be increased for the period of ban.
Sources said the catching of fishes is increasing significantly every year after imposing ban on fishing during the breeding season from May to July every year.
The fishermen caught a total of 73,384 metric tonnes (MT) of fish in fiscal year (FY) 2011-12, 73,030 MT in FY 2012-13, 76,885 MT in FY 2013-14, 84,845 MT in 2014-15, some 100,500 MT in 2015-16, and 120,088 MT in 2017-18 fiscal, according to the sources at fisheries department.
Sources said there 248 large fishing trawlers in the country which are being used for commercial fishing.
Besides, around 68,000 vessels, both with and without engines, operate within 32,440 square kilometre off the coastline until it reaches the depth of 40 metres. This makes up the first level in fishing at sea.
Some 241 vessels licenced by the government are allowed only up to the second and third levels.
The second extends from 40 metres to 200 metres and the third begins until it reaches the end of the exclusive economic zone.
Sources said, of these 32,859 fishing engine boats and 34 810 non-engine boats used to be out of ban. However, the authority used to give permission for 248 large size fishing trawlers for sailing for commercial fishing for only 30 days every year.
Cox's Bazar district officer of Department of Fisheries Dr Abdul Alim said the government used to impose ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal to preserve fish stock and ensure proper breeding. "The ban on engine boats will be continued for 65 days while on normal boats only for 22 days. The fish stock will be increased due to the ban on breeding period of fishes."
Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute at Cox's Bazar Dr Julfiquar Ali said: "It is true that the fishermen will suffer for a limited period due to the ban on fishing at sea. But, at last, they can catch more fishes after the breeding period."
Manjur Alam Bonik, inspector of fisheries department in Chattogram said, "The quantity of fish is increasing significantly day by day due to the ban. Our fishermen are catching huge fish every year, as a result."
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