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22-day ban on ilish fishing starts October 9

  • Published at 06:13 pm September 8th, 2019
Shariarpur ilish ban
Fishermen catch ilish in Shariatpur, amid ban from authorities because of breeding season Dhaka Tribune

During the ban, each fisherman’s family will receive 30kg of rice from the government, under its VGF program

The government has imposed a 22-day ban starting October 9 on catching, selling and transporting ilish in a 7,000km breeding ground, to ensure safe spawning of the fish, during its peak breeding period.

“The ban will be imposed for a total of four days before and 17 days after the full moon in October (Ashwin in Bengali calendar). Fishermen of the areas, where ilish is available in rivers, will receive food assistance from the government for the time,” State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru said on Sunday.

The minister made the remark after a meeting at the ministry conference room at the secretariat in Dhaka.The meeting was held to discuss the infiltration of two foreign vessels along the Bangladesh maritime boundary. 

During the ilish breeding period, a massive combined operation will be conducted at all the fisheries ghats, warehouses, and hat-bazars across the country.

During the time, each fisherman’s family will receive 30kg of rice from the government, under its vulnerable group feeding (VGF) program.

At the meeting, the state minister urged all, including fishermen and fishermen's associations, to help make the countrywide program a success.

In order to ensure the safe reproduction of ilis, the fisheries department has been imposing bans, since 2003, on catching ilish during the Bangla month of Ashwin to Kartik. The ban is imposed under the Protection and Conservation of Fish Act 1950.

Any breach of the ban will result in one to two years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of Tk5,000.

The fisheries department, navy, air force, coast guard, police, river police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), district and upazila administrations, including the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry, will enforce the ban.

Where do we stand in terms of Ilish production?

Ilish production in Bangladesh has gone up by 159.76% in the last 15 years, thanks to the government's efforts, including their ban on catching brood fish, and fries.

Production of ilish stood at 517,000 tons in 2017-18, up from 199,000 tons in 2002-03.

The estimated market value of the 517,000 tons of ilish stands at Tk20,000, calculated at Tk400 per kg, State Minister Ashraf told the parliament in June this year.

Total production is expected to surpass 550,000 tons within five years, he also said.

I have changed the terminology to  maritime boundary. I think this is the one mostly used.