The government has imposed a 65-day ban on fishing in the sea across the country to preserve fish stock and ensure proper breeding.
Industrial trawlers have been prohibited from fishing in the Bay of Bengal from May 20 to Jul 23.The government will take legal measures against those found catching fishes or crustaceans during the 65-day ban, said Mollah Emdadullah, district fisheries officer (DFO) in Patuakhali.
The sanction has been imposed in accordance with the Marine Fisheries Ordinance 1883 (amended in 2015) to ensure smooth breeding of the sea fishes.
The Department of Fisheries sent a copy of the ordinance to the DFOs in 19 coastal districts in the first week of April and asked them to implement it.
The government says the coast guard and navy will enforce the ban in the Bay of Bengal.
There have been short-term bans on commercial fishing in the past but this is the first time that all fishing boats, including local fishermen, have been banned for a lengthy period.
Fishing associations have called on the prime minister to re-consider the ban. They are also asking for compensation.Fish, such as hilsa, forms an important part of local diets and is also processed for export.
Hilsa, a kind of herring, used to be abundant in the waters along the Bay of Bengal but stocks have declined in recent decades due to overfishing. Bangladesh is responsible for about 60% of the total catch globally and the market for hilsa is worth more than $2bn.