The government will enforce a combined special drive by local administrations and law enforcers from tomorrow against illegal use of fishing nets as an estimated 50,000 such harmful nets are widely being used in the coastal belt posing a serious threat to fisheries resources.
At the primary stage, a 15-day drive will be conducted covering all the islands, river-beds and estuaries of three costal districts-Bhola, Patuakhali and Barguna as a large number of fishermen are allegedly using these nets for fishing in the Bay of Bengal and adjacent coastal regions, which is ultimately creating a threat to overall existence of the fisheries resource of the country.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Mohammad Sayedul Haque on Sunday said this as the chief guest while addressing a press conference at the Department of Fisheries (DoF) in tha capital.
The minister said different law enforcement agencies, including Bangladesh Navy, coast guard, marine police, RAB, Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), police, and the local administrations will carry out the drive until January 18."
With director general of the DoF Dr Syed Arif Azad in the chair, the meeting also was addressed, among others, by Fisheries and Livestock Secretary M Maksudul Hasan Khan as the special guest.
For overall supervision of the programme, the government has formed a committee with Additional Secretary (fisheries) M Anisur Rahman as its convenor. The government on 7 April 2013 imposed restrictions on use of different harmful and illegal fishing nets, but an estimated 50,000 harmful nets are being used illegally in the coastal zones, said the minister at the press briefing.
As per official statistics, the Bay of Bengal and its adjoining river estuaries are habitats of nearly 475 different species of big and small fish. These included 36 species of shrimps, 5 species of lobsters, 15 species of crabs, 5 species of turtles, 13 species of corals.
Indiscriminate use of such harmful nets by the fishermen in the coastal regions is responsible for exhausting the broad stock of all types of fisheries and shrimps in the Bay of Bengal, a plenty source of fisheries of the country. The harmful fishing nets includes bindi jal, badha jal, pekua jal, bingi jal, gara jal, shrimp spawn catching net, khuti jal and tong jal.
Ministry high officials, representatives from different law enforcement agencies including director-general of coast guard Rear Admiral Makbul Hossain, among others, were present, according to BSS. -Mithun