The government has issued a two-month ban on the collection of mud crab from the Sundarbans.
The ban is in effect from January 1.
Confirming the news, Mahmudul Hasan, divisional forest officer (DFO) of the Sundarbans East Zone, said: “January and February are the breeding season for the crabs. In these two months' time, the mother crab spawn a huge quantity of eggs. That is why we ban the collection of crab from the Sundarbans during this period.”
However, the crab traders pointed to the fact that such a ban would threaten the income generation of several thousand people who solely depend on collecting the crabs from the Sundarbans.
Almost 99% of the crabs exported from Bangladesh is collected from the Sundarbans, they noted.
Dr Md Latiful Islam, senior scientific officer of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute's Paikgachha Brackishwater Station, said such a ban pays back in the longer run because it ensures a much greater population of mud crabs for coming days.
He noted that although crabs grow up along the rivers and canals, they migrate to the seashore during January-February.
“The government has imposed the ban to protect the mother crabs at that time. And it is easier to catch mother crabs when they spawn. They remain more hungry and become more prone to baits,” he added.