• Saturday, Sep 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:01 pm

Fishermen forced to keep boats docked in hostile weather

  • Published at 09:14 pm July 29th, 2021
Fishing ports in Kalapara, Patuakhali
Fishing trawlers and boats wait at Alipur and Mahipur fishing ports in Kalapara, Patuakhali, on Thursday to enter the deep-sea amid the hostile weather caused by a low pressure over the Bay of Bengal Dhaka Tribune

Fishermen in seafaring trawlers waiting at the Patharghata fish landing centre in Barguna said they always looked forward to this season eagerly to catch ilish at sea

Even after a 65-day-long fishing ban, local fishermen are being forced to keep their trawlers docked around the coastal areas of Barguna and Patuakhali owing to the prevailing hostile weather at sea. 

The maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra were advised to hoist local cautionary signal number three as a low-pressure area formed over the North Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas on Thursday.

Fishermen in seafaring trawlers waiting at the Patharghata fish landing centre in Barguna said they always looked forward to this season eagerly to catch ilish at sea.

It is the income from fishing during this period that covers their family expenses and helps them settle their debts with moneylenders.

There are about 100,000 fishermen along the coast who make a living by fishing in the river in small boats, according to DOCAP, an NGO working with coastal fishermen.

Masud Alam, executive director of DOCAP, said: “Fishermen have to borrow money to sustain their families and buy fishing gear as long periods of fishing bans are usually in effect throughout the year.

“Although previously the 65-day ban was only applicable to fishing at sea, now it includes rivers too. From October 14 onwards, another 22-day ban will come into effect on account of the winter breeding season.

“All in all, now is the time to catch ilish. But these fishermen are helpless as ilish aren't being found in the rivers and they can't even go to sea in hostile weather.”

According to the District Fisheries Department, there are about 43,000 fishermen in Barguna district whose only source of livelihood is fishing.

Golam Mostafa Chowdhury, president of the Barguna Fishing Trawler Owners' Association, said sea-faring trawlers ready with all necessary gear and supplies were all sitting at the dock, ready to go to sea after the 65-day ban. 

Barguna District Fisheries Officer Biswajit Kumar Dev said: "We hope that our fishermen can start taking their boats and trawlers out soon because it is during monsoon rains that ilish is found in great abundance in rivers, estuaries and seas."

According to the Met office bulletin, the well-marked low over the southwestern part of Bangladesh and the adjoining areas now lies over the western part of Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal. It is likely to move northwestwards.

More rain on the way

The Met Office in a bulletin yesterday said that light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally winds is likely to occur at most places over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal and Chittagong divisions and at many places over Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions.

It also predicted moderately heavy to very heavy rainfall at different other places over the country.

The well-marked low over the southwestern region of Bangladesh and the adjoining area now lies over the western part of Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal. It is likely to move northwestwards.

The axis of the monsoon, which is active over Bangladesh and strong over the North Bay, runs through Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, the centre of the well-marked low to Assam across Bangladesh’s central part.

Signal No 3

The Met Office in another bulletin yesterday also advised the maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra to hoist local cautionary Signal No 3 and alert vessels of a possible squall.

The advisory for Signal No 3 -- which means that a depression has formed and may affect the port later -- comes in the wake of the well-marked low.

“Under its influence, deep convection is taking place and a steep pressure gradient lies over the North Bay and adjoining areas,” said the bulletin.

Squally weather may affect the maritime ports, the North Bay and the adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh, it added.

All boats and trawlers in the North Bay have been advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution until further notice.

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