Catch of mother Hilshas goes on defying ban

Published : 31 Oct 2023 11:00 PM
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Amid 22-day ban on catching of Hilsha fish aiming to safe breeding of the fish and to increase the fish resources, the fishermen are continuing to catch the mother Hilsha fish from Tentulia river at Bauphal under Patuakhali district.

 It is alleged that by managing some of the dishonest members of the River Police, those deceitful fishermen have engaged in an orgy to wipe out the Hilsha fish from the river. Moreover, even after seizing the trawler laden Hisha fish, those dishonest members of the River Police allegedly release those trawlers without destroying the fishing nets in exchange of kickback.  

 According to the source of Upazila Fisheries Department, aiming to preserve the mother Hilshas the government has enforced a ban on catching, transporting, storing, marketing, exchanging and selling of Hilsha fish during the main breeding season of the fish for 22 days starting from October-12 to November-2. 

 To implement the ban, it was supposed to start a staunch drive by the Upazila Administration, Department of Fisheries, Coast Guards and the River Police at the Hilsha sanctuaries on the river Tentulia. 

But, from the very first day of starting of the ban, the local administration seemed to reluctant to conduct the drive properly. As a result, a section of dishonest fishermen, taking the opportunity of the lagging of conducting the drive by the administration,  have started catching the mother Hilshas. 

 According to sources, the fishermen are engage at catching Mother Hilsha indscriminaely from Batirkhal, Khanka Masjid, Kalairchar federation, Shoula and Charkalaiya of Chandradip union, Nimdi, Dhamdi of Nazirpur union, Mominpur, Kalamiar Bazaar, Dhuliar Mathbaria and Launch ghat area under Kesobpur union of the river Tentulia. 

The seasonal fish traders were purchasing those fishes in a wholesale rate from beside the river and were selling those to the retailers and the local consumers.  

 It is learnt, the River Police and the department of fisheries are conducting joint drives in the river to implement the ban. But, soon after the starting of the drive, the river turns empty but the fishermen resume the catching of Hilsha after the departure of the law enforcers.

Fishermen Akbar Ali of Chandradwip and Hemayet Gazi of Kesabpur and some other fishermen informed,' We, the  real fishermen, strictly follow the ban and never go to the river by violating the rule. But, some seasonal fishermen catch Hisha fishes to earn illegal profit in violation of the rule. The Administration should be more strict in this connection', they demanded.

 Lutfar Rahman, In Charge of Kalaiya River Police outpost refuted the allegations and said river police are regularly conducting drive to save Hilshas. Fishermen are also being nabbed but some vested quarters are making false allegations to tarnish the image of police, he added. 

 Gazi Bashir, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, in this connection informed,' Several teams are conducting drives on the river to save Hilshas. 

I also join the drive. The fishermen are being nabbed regularly and are being punished. Action will be taken by the River Police if any act of irregularities can be proved against them', he added.