In a bid to conserve Jatka or juveniles of hilsa, the government has imposed a two-month ban, effective from today (Monday), on all kinds of fishing in five hilsa sanctuaries across the country.
The ban from 1 March to 30 April covers five hilsa sanctuaries in Barishal, Chandpur, Lakhsmipur, Bhola and Patuakhali, according to a press release by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock on Sunday.
The sanctuaries are: 100km area of the lower basin of the River Meghna – from Shatnal of Chandpur to Char Alexander of Lakhsmipur; 90km area of Shahbazpur tributary of the River Meghna – from Modonpur/Char Ilsha to Char Pial of Bhola district; about a 100km area of the River Tentulia – from Bheduria of Bhola to Char Rustam of Patuakhali; 20km area of the River Padma – located between Naria and Vedharganj upazilas of Shariatpur and Matlab upazila of Chandpur; and about 82km area of rivers Kalabadar, Gazaria and Meghna flowing through Hijla, Mehendiganj and Barishal Sadar upazilas of Barishal.
Every year government bans fishing in these hilsa sanctuaries for two months in March and April to protect premature hilsa from being procured.
Fishing on the sanctuaries during this season is a legally punishable offense. If anyone is found violating the ban, they can be punished with a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years of imprisonment or a fine of up to Tk5,000, or both.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has already allocated 19,502 metric tonnes of VGF rice at the rate of 40kg per month for 2,43,778 fishermen who will not procure Jatka in the six districts concerned during the ban period.