‘Fisheries sector dev began during Bangabandhu regime’

Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said, “Prosperity in the country's fisheries sector started in the hand of Bangabandhu. He saw the fisheries sector with foresight. 

“After independence, Bangabandhu had said that fish will be the second major source of foreign exchange earnings. Some of his far-sighted steps were to set up a Marine Fisheries Training Center, start a fisheries survey and collect 10 Fishing Trawler from former Soviet Union. So Bangabandhu is our ideal and our philosophy”, the Minister added.

The minister made the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled 'Golden Jubilee of Independence: Glorious Achievements in Hilsa Production and Jatka Protection' organized by Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) at a hotel in the capital on Saturday.

The minister further said, “The government is giving VGF to the fishermen during the ban period on catching Hilsa in Jatka conservation. Besides, alternative employment is being provided to them with various materials including distribution of cows, goats, poultry and vans. It is illegal to catch Jatka”.

“However, the Sheikh Hasina government wants to rehabilitate anyone who is in irregularity through alternative employment. Because Bangabandhu's daughter is the Prime Minister of the country today and she is an honest, brave, hardworking statesman. No one has done what Sheikh Hasina has been able to do in the past”, he added.

Rezaul further added, “In many ways, the government is cooperating in the development of the fisheries sector. Labs have been set up in different parts of the country for the development of this sector. Research institutes are being set up not only in Dhaka but also in other parts of the country. Those who are interested in investing in this sector are being given various facilities by the government”. 

“Those who want to set up feed mills or other fish processing industries are being exempted from source tax on import of machineries. The High Commission is cooperating to create opportunities for fish export abroad. However, the government as well as the citizens of the country has a responsibility to develop this sector. They have to play a conscious role”, he again said.

The Minister further said, “Through BFRI project, high quality vessels with modern facilities have been procured for hilsa research in different rivers and estuaries of the country. This will make it possible to conduct research on hilsa in the rivers and seas of the country. The researched results will play a role in the tolerant production of Hilsa. 

BFRI's research has led to the establishment of sanctuaries and the failure to stop fishing at scheduled times, which has led to the breeding success of Hilsa. 

During the last 22-day ban in 2020, the fertility rate of hilsa has been fixed at 51.2 percent. Fisheries scientists need to work to open new horizons in research. Research should be done for the welfare of the people, in the interest of the country. ”

Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute Director General Dr Yahya Mahmud presided over the seminar while, Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Rawnak Mahmud and Director General of the Fisheries Department Kazi Shams Afroz were present as special guests.