22-day embargo on hilsha fishing from Oct 7

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Dhaka, Sept 15: Hilsha catching will remain suspended for 22 days across the country from October 7 as restrictions will be in force to maintain safe reproduction of the national fish that accounts for 12 percent of total fish output and 1.15 percent of total GDP.

“Nationwide transportation, buying-selling, storing and exchanging of hilsha will also remain suspended during this major breeding season till October 28”, said an official release here today.

The decision came following a National Task Force Committee on Hilsha Resource Development meeting held at the Department of Fisheries (DoF) conference room here today (Thursday) with Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim in the chair.

Campaigns for preservation of the mother hilshas also will be conducted during the period. The government will distribute food aid under Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme to the fishermen who will abstain from fishing during this time, said the release.

Talking about the restrictions, the fisheries and livestock minister said, “The government will take strict actions against those involves in destruction of the resources. The drive will be continued during day and night.”

About the benefit of the embargo, the minister said such a huge quantity of hilsha was not produced in past, adding that now the fish is available everywhere in the country. “People can easily get the fish and the hilsha is also being exported,” he added.

Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Dr Muhammad Yamin Chowdhury, Additional secretaries Shaymol Chandra Karmoker, M Taufiqul Arif, ATM Mostafa Kamal and M Abdul Quiyum, Director General of the Department of Fisheries (DoF) Khondoker Mahbubul Huq, Director General of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) Dr Yahia Mahmud, Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC) Director M Monjur Hasan Bhuiyan, representatives from th Cabinet Division, Commerce Ministry, Shipping Ministry, Armed Forces Division, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Bangladesh Coast Guard, BIWTA, Bangladesh Ansar and VDP, RAB, River Police, different university teachers and researchers, fisheries scientists, district administrators, police supers, representatives from World Fish Center, fishermen organizations and senior officials from ministry and directorate also attended the meeting.