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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Fishermen wary as 22-day ban on ilish fishing begins Thursday

  • Fishermen disappointed with low catch on peak season
  • 25kg rice deemed insufficient
  • Fishermen seek more government support
Update : 11 Oct 2023, 10:11 PM

Many southern Bangladeshi fishermen who are returning to the shore, have expressed their worry about their future as a 22-day ban on ilish fishing is going to be started on Thursday. 

The ban will remain in place till November 2 aiming to ensure the safe breeding of ilish fish.

During this period, activities such as netting, marketing, buying, selling, and storing ilish, are strictly prohibited.

To ease their difficulties during this time, the government will provide each family of registered ilish fishermen with 25 kg of rice. 

However, many fishermen who returned to shore are disappointed as they could not catch as much ilish as they had hoped for this season.

Therefore, they are concerned about how they will manage their livelihood during these 22 days.

Aiub Ali, a fisherman from Tulatoli village in Bhola Sadar upazila, said that during the last ban, fishermen were not allowed to net fish. 

“On top of that, we had to return on several occasions without catching any ilish due to continuous adverse weather conditions,” he said. 

Mohsinuddin, a fisherman from the coastal Doulatkhan upazila of Bhola, said that the ban has been particularly challenging for the fishermen. 

“We had not caught much fish even before the ban. Moreover, during this ban, Indian fishermen will enter our territory and catch ilish,” he said.

“If Indian fishermen are not prevented from entering our territory, this ban will not benefit Bangladeshi fishermen,” he added.

Muhammad Musa, another ilish fisherman from the coastal Charfesson upazila of Bhola, mentioned his inability to repay loans from previous seasons.

"I am unsure how we will get through these 22 days. We might receive 25 kg of rice per family during the ban, but we need substantial support from the government," he added.

There are about 5,000 fishermen in Bhola Sadar upazila, and a majority believe that merely receiving 25 kg of rice per family is insufficient to sustain them for 22 days.

Acknowledging the fishermen's concern, Barisal Fisheries Officer (Ilish) Bimal Chandra Das said that around 300,000 fishermen will face temporary livelihood challenges. 

“However, most families of registered ilish fishermen will receive 25kg of rice to pass the difficult times,” he said. 

“Campaigns to adhere to the ilish ban rules would continue throughout the ban period,” Bimal Chandra Das said. 

“All necessary administrative measures have been taken to ensure the success of the 22-day ban,” he added.

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