The Cabinet on Monday principally approved the draft of a bill to set up fish farms in the coastal waters of the Bay of Bengal. The approval came from the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The current Marine Fisheries Ordinance 1983 will be effectively turned into an Act of parliament and replaced by a new law.
Briefing the journalists after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said, approved "Marine Fisheries Bill, 2017" will also raise the punishment for several offenses including creating hindrance to the activities of authorized officials. The punishment could be maximum three years jail, or Tk 5 lakh fine or both according to the new law, he said.
He said that the proposed law featured three new sections, numbered 55, 57 and 58.
As per Section 55, Shafiul Alam said that the government will be able to set up Mariculture Zone in the coastal areas or in the suitable places of estuaries of rivers where the government could give permission for the cultivation of marine species.
About raising of other punishments, he said, in the case of intentionally causing damage to the fish extraction vessels, the punishment would be maximum three years jail, or Tk 5 lakh as fine or both.
The Cabinet Secretary said that if any owner, skipper or any individual violates the conditions of the law, the punishment would be maximum three years jail, or Tk 5 lakh as fine or both.