Reading out a written statement at the press conference, Moshiur Rahman said the government had published a gazette this year after revoking the Marine Fisheries Ordinance-1983
Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Association (BMFA) demanded revising Fisheries Act 2020 after holding talks with the stakeholders.
The BMFA raised the demand after holding a press conference at Chittagong Press Club on Monday.
Reading out a written statement at the press conference, Moshiur Rahman said the government had published a gazette this year after revoking the Marine Fisheries Ordinance 1983.
Due to the rigidity of the new act, the trawler operators are now in a state of panic and have suspended catching fish.
“The new act is not business-friendly. Many clauses of the act contradict with existing criminal laws. The punishment for different offences in the new act is stern,” said Moshiur, adding that the new act would create opportunities for dishonest marine fisheries officials to indulge in corrupt practices.
“In the past, the trawler operators could catch fish for 280 days a year. However, there is a ban of 85 days on fishing annually. Besides, the trawler operators have to suspend trawling for some days more due to natural calamities,” he said.
On November 16 this year, the Marine Fisheries Bill 2020, was passed in Parliament with a provision for a maximum of three years’ imprisonment or Tk5 crore fine or both for fishing illegally within Bangladesh’s maritime boundary by any foreign national.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim moved the Bill in the House; it was passed by voice vote.
There are 12 chapters and 63 clauses in the proposed law which will replace the Marine Fisheries Ordinance promulgated during the period of the military regime and scrapped by the High Court.