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Dhaka Tribune

Government imposes ban on shallow fishing in Bay

Update : 25 Apr 2014, 10:03 PM

The government has imposed a ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal where water level is less than 40 metres, aiming to protect fish resources.

The decision was made at an inter-ministerial meeting held on April 20 with Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sayedul Haque in the chair.

The Fisheries and Livestock Ministry on Thursday issued a gazette notification in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard have been asked to take necessary steps to protect fish in the deep sea.

The ministry had also formed a monitoring committee, led by its Joint Secretary Anisur Rahman, to take prompt action against the trawlers coming from Myanmar and Thailand and poaching fish in the Bay of Bengal.

Ministry’s Public Relations Officer Mohammad Ali Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that the government had taken the decision to protect sea fish from illegal local or foreign fishermen so that the country’s people may get fish as per their demand. It could be ensured if the order was followed properly, he added.

“The minister has also asked the authorities concerned to replace all the bottom water trawlers with mid-water trawlers immediately,” he quoted the minister as saying.

An official order in this regard would be issued shortly.

After the meeting, Sayedul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune that the government would not allow anyone to import or build any wooden trawlers in future. “Also, we will not allow the licence-holders to replace new trawlers with their old trawlers.”

Licences for the trawlers given 20-25 years back would not be renewed further to ensure limited fish catch and protect the country’s fish resources.

The minister said the heads of law enforcement agencies and departments concerned were instructed to take legal action against the foreign trawlers trespassing into the Bangladesh’s maritime area.

Bangladesh will not allow any unauthorised trawlers into its territory for fishing illegally. “If they enter illegally, we will catch them,” the minister said.

He informed that although 75 trawlers should be involved in fishing in Bangladesh waters, nearly 221 fishing boats are now catching fish.

According to the fisheries department, the government approved 199 trawlers for deep-sea fishing between 1973 and 2011, but there are around 40,000 fishing boats and trawlers fishing in the sea at present.

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