Illegal fishing goes unabated in Feni river

Published : 12 Jun 2022 08:05 PM

Illegal procurement of lobster-bagged shrimp is going on illegally in different places of Mirsarai Feni river in Chittagong and at the mouth of Bay of Bengal ignoring the ban. Thousands of species of fish and aquatic fry are constantly being destroyed in the process of extracting this pollen.

Visiting various places along the river, it is seen that fishermen are collecting millions of shrimp pollen and selling it to the local traders with the help of prohibited mosquito nets and push nets. The traders are selling them at double the price to the owners of different shrimp farms in the country including Khulna, Bagerhat and Jessore.

Millions of shrimp fry are being harvested daily from the Muhuri Irrigation Project area of Feni River to Ichakhali, Bamansundar Khal in Mirsarai Upazila and from the small Feni River Kazir Hat-Isgate to the South Coast Channel in the vast coastal area. Thousands of people from Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Mirsarai and Sonagazi coastal areas are also making a living by collecting shrimp fry in the river.

Visiting these places, it is seen that fishermen, children and old people are all collecting shrimp with mosquito nets and push nets. The fishermen are just collecting the pollen of the lobster and discarding the pollen and other aquatic animals.

These fishermen have illegally built innumerable tin houses under the umbrella of influential palaces to collect pona. From here the fry are sent to shrimp farms in Dhaka, Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira districts. More than one lakh shrimp fry are supplied daily to Greater Dhaka and Khulna region from Muhuri project area alone.

With a few fishermen visiting the Muhuri Regulator area. Talking to a fisherman named Abhijit Mandal. He came from Khulna. He said he had come to the area for two months to procure shrimp fry. He collected the fry from the river through a local moneylender and sold it for Rs. 1 per piece.

Shakhawat Hossain, another from Khulna, said he comes to the area every April-June for three months to collect shrimp fry. He sells the ponas through a local Kalu Mia moneylender. Another fisherman from the same area said that they used to catch shrimp fry along with other fry from the river with a mosquito net. Later he left the shrimp and threw away the others.

According to a local named Manu Mia, while collecting shrimp pollen, coral, crab, chiring, baila, mala, della, cheua, tafse, bata, chapila, kuchia, tengra, poya, laita, vhetki, hilsa, kachchi and many more species of fry come. . They just pick up the shrimp fry and throw away the rest. He said they can sell each shrimp at a good price. If other fish fry are spoiled, they have no problem.

A man named Manu Mia, who was collecting shrimp pollen in the Muhuri Regulator area, was seen taking pictures and commenting, "Manage everything, there is no point in taking pictures of Toby." Azgar Hossain, a resident of the area, said that these shrimps are going to different parts of the country in front of the administration. Illegal business is going on with the tip of the administration's nose.

Locals say Nizam Zamindar, Mofiz Zamindar (Carpedi), Obaidul Haque and others are openly running small businesses and bringing people from Khulna, Bagerhat and Jessore. These fry are being taken away in a drum in front of everyone, no action is taken.

Asked about this, Mirsarai Upazila Senior Fisheries Officer Nasim Al Mahmud said, "We conduct operations every year." There will be a campaign this year too. Although we can't do it all the time, sometimes during the season we conduct campaigns. The nets used to catch the shrimp reindeer illegally were destroyed and the shrimp fry were thrown into the river.