The government has withdrawn the temporary ban imposed on fishing in Hakaluki Haor, two days after the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) confirmed that the radiation levels in the region is not alarming.
Sultan Mahmud, senior fisheries officer of the district’s Kulaura Upazila, confirmed the matter to the Dhaka Tribune Tuesday.
“The situation has turned normal. There is no bar to fishing in the Haor,” according to a government circular issued Monday by Kulaura Upazila Nirbahi Officer Chowdhury Md Golam Rabbi and Sultan Mahmud. “It is safe to consume the fishes.”
The government has, however, asked fishermen to comply with the laws when netting fish in the Haor.
On April 1, the upazila administration along with the Department of Fisheries announced in the areas asking locals not to fish in the haors as piscine diseases started killing fishes and ducks in the aftermath of the recent flood in the district and adjoining areas. Later, the government on April 18 declared a week-long ban on fishing there with the situation getting worse.
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After testing samples collected from 25 points of Hakaluki and Dekhar haors, the BAEC on Sunday said that they had not found any alarming sign of radioactivity in the water.
A team from the BAEC visited the area after several media reported the presence of uranium in Haor water for which fishes and ducks were dying.
“Some eight metric tonnes of fishes died in the Haor’s Kulaura part,” Sultan Mahmud said, adding that the average annual production in the area stood at 950 metric tonnes.
AKM Shafiquzzaman, fisheries officer in Moulvibazar, said: “Every year some 14,000 metric tonnes of fishes are produced in Hakaluki Haor. The flood has resulted in the deaths of 25 metric tonnes of fish worth around Tk16 lakh.”
Terming the loss trivial, he also said they would release 1.8 million fries by June to recover the damage.
Last week, the district’s DAE office said that around 10,276 hectares of paddy fields were completely damaged in the flood and the estimated output from those fields stood at Tk121 crore, which is Tk80 crore less than primary assessment.
Meanwhile, officials of the government and different development organisations visited the areas and talked to the affected people.
The district administration was allocated 100 tonnes of rice and Tk8 lakh cash for the affected people in seven upazilas.
The government also announced that some 335,000 families of the flood-ravaged Haor region would be given 30kg rice and Tk500 as emergency support, while some 171,715 families will get relief materials through the VGF programme and OMS.