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1 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Fishing restrictions in effect

Eid fails to bring festive mood among Barishal fishermen

Staff Reporter, Barishal
Eid fails to bring festive mood among Barishal fishermen

The Eid festive mood is missing among most fishermen of Barishal division as their source of livelihood has been curtailed due to various fishing restrictions imposed by the Directorate of Fisheries. In Barishal Division, 2,87,943 out of 3,52,724 fishermen families received VGF (vulnerable group feeding) assistance. But half of the total fishermen in the division still do not have ID cards. As a result, they are not getting any government help and passing through a hard time, said acting divisional fishery officer Azizul Islam.

Sanjib Sannamat, Barishal Sadar upazila fisheries officer, said only 1,889 out of 4,500 upazila fishermen were getting VGF support.

Fishermen mostly remain idle due to an eight-month ban on catching 'Jatka' (hilsa fry less than 9 inch or 23 centimetres in length) from November 1 to June 30, two months’ (March-April) ban against hilsha fishing in four sanctuaries created for this fish, and a 22-day ban (October 7-29) on Hilsha fishing in 7,000 sq km areas in the country. Besides, for the first time, the government has imposed a 65-day ban on fishing in the sea from May 20 to July 23 in order to ensure smooth breeding of sea fish, fishery department sources said. Many fishermen had taken loans at high rates of interest from local moneylenders to go on fishing ventures and sustain their livelihood.

In this situation, Muhammad Hossain,40, a  fisherman of  Veduria village in the Chandramohon union under Sadar upazila, said that he only got 35 kg rice every two months for his six-member family for the November-June (eight months) ban on jatka netting in rivers. Kader Maji, another fisherman, alleged that he had not been enlisted as a beneficiary and was not getting any VGF support from the government. A visit to the fishermen’s locality (Jeley Pally) in Veduria village revealed most fishermen families were not getting VGF support and feeling downcast, though Eid-ul-Fitr was round the corner. In this village, over 1,200 fishermen depend on fishing in the river to maintain their families, but only 535 fishermen had got VGF rice support.

“How will we celebrate Eid with our family members and how will we buy new clothes for my children when we are unable to earn our livelihood?” said Hasina, a woman from a local fisher family.

Most of the people of this village are currently keeping themselves busy by repairing their fishing nets. Defying the ban, some fishermen were illegally catching jatka fish illegally, acknowledged Yousuf Ali, one of the fishermen in that village.

“We are facing tough times because we have no alternative profession,” said Rafiq Maji, another fisherman from the same village. “Some of our fishermen went to catch fish in the coastal area. But the government has now imposed a ban even on that,” said a fisherman of the area. “So, we have no joy despite the Eid festival. Eid brings only sufferings for us,” lamented Rahima, mother of a child in that village.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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