A section of fishermen continued fishing mother hilsa in different rivers in the country defying the 22-day ban imposed for protection of mother hilsa during its peak breeding season in the country.
They are seen netting the fish in the rivers under Chandpur, Shariatpur, Goalanda, Rajbari, Manikganj and Sirajganj districts.
The government is also running mobile courts in the districts to check defiance of the ban.
When contacted, Shariatpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Asraf Dowla told daily sun, “We have taken a hard line on defiance of the ban. The members of the law enforcement agencies are also working hard to stop catching mother hilsa illegally in the rivers. We are not allowing any fishing boat to catch the mother hilsa.”
The officer also said, “The fishermen are using high-speed boats to catch mother hilsa. But we don’t have such boat to chase them. We have some limitations in this regard.”
Abdul Awal Haulader, who was returning from Naria upazila in Shariatpur by a passenger sea-boat on Tuesday, said a good number of fishermen with engine-trawlers and high-speed sea-boats were found catching hilsa at different points of the river.
“I heard about the ban, but I have no alternative as I have to maintain a six-member family,” said Arief Miah, a fisherman of Jajira upazila in Shariatpur.
Meanwhile, mobile courts, in separate drives, arrested 60 fishermen along with current net and mother hilsa in the last 24-hour from the rivers of Padma and Meghna in the district and sentenced them to different jail terms for defying the ban. According to the district fisheries offices, a total of 60 fishermen were arrested with 78 kgs of mother Hilsa and 3.55 lakh meters of banned current nets during the drives in the Padma and Meghna rivers.
The mobile court sentenced 54 fishermen to different jail terms and fined six fishermen.
The joint team of mobile courts includes officials of Fisheries Department, District Administration, Upazila Administration and members of RAB, Police and Naval Police.
District Fisheries Officer Pranab Kumar Karmakar said the seized nets were destroyed and the seized Hilsa has been distributed to the orphanages, madrasas and poor people in the area.
The government has imposed a 22-day ban starting from October 4 on catching, selling, storing and transporting Hilsa, to ensure safe spawning of mother Hilsa during its peak breeding period.