Use of banned fishing nets continues unabated for catching fishes in the river Meghna at different points of Bhola, including Monpura, Char Fashion, Bhola Sadar and its all adjoining islands, river-beds and estuaries of costal belt Patuakhali and Barguna.
Despite massive drives against such banned nets, the illegal fishing gear is still used.
Environment experts said use of such fishing nets poses a threat to the biodiversity in coastal chars and in the river Meghna. Maunds of jatka (immature hilsa), fish fry and young fishes, including poa, koral, chhurra and pangas, are being netted everyday.
Flora and fauna are dying after being trapped in the current nets. If this reckless fishing continues for long, the biodiversity will be under severe threat, they added.
Banned fishing nets are being allowed to use in river and sea after paying extortion by fishermen and trawler men.
On the monthly and weekly basis, it is being received. So, jatka is being netted in this off-season. Later, these are being brought to river and sea by fishermen on board of their trawlers.
According to coastguard, coastguard is seizing thousands of metres of current nets, including the type of behundi, everyday. Later, these banned nets are burned.
Officers-in-Charge (OC) of Monpura Police station Abu Sayeed said they do not have enough technical supports, including sea boats, to carry out drives against river-related crimes, which include such illegal fishing.
A large number of fishermen are allegedly using harmful nets for fishing in the Bay of Bengal and adjacent coastal regions, which is ultimately creating a threat to overall existence of the fisheries resource of the country. “Like other law enforcement agencies, including local coastguard, we are trying to stop such illegal fishing,” the OC added.
Meanwhile, members of Bangladesh Coastguard conducting separate operations seized about 20 lakh metres of illegal fishing nets worth Tk 7 crore in Bhola.
This information was shared in a press release signed by BN SM Tahsin Rahman, media officer of Coastguard South Zone, on Sunday noon.
He said, “Acting on secret information, the coastguard members raided the ferry ghat in Bhola Sadar and Kalinartha Bazar area of the town on Saturday night and seized the nets.”
No one was arrested as the involved parties were alerted about the coastguard’s presence and immediately fled the scene.
Recently, Bangladesh Coastguard also seized 30 million metres of illegal current nets from the Bay of Bengal.
Coastguard ship Shyamal Bangla seized the nets during a regular patrol. However, no fisherman was arrested.
The seized nets were handed over to Bangladesh Coast Station Cox's Bazar. Later, the nets were burned as per the instructions of the Cox's Bazar Upazila Fisheries officer.