New hilsa sanctuary in Padma
The government is soon going to declare a 20-kilometre stretch of the Padma in Shariatpur a new sanctuary for hilsa to increase the production of the kingly fish, said Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas yesterday.
This will be the fifth hilsa sanctuary to be made at the lower basin of Padma river, he said while speaking at a press briefing organised by the ministry at the Department of Fisheries in the city on the eve of Jatka Preservation Week 2011.
The government has taken initiative to make the existing law relating to the ban on catching hilsa during the breeding season more time-befitting, the minister said.
The Jatka Preservation Week will be observed from April 4 to April 10.
The minister would formally inaugurate the week through a rally at Kalapara in Patuakhali tomorrow.
The four other hilsa sanctuaries are a 100km long stretch from Shatnol of Chandpur to Char Alexander of Laxmipur in the Meghna River; a 90km long Shahbajpur channel of Meghna confluence including Madanpur of Manpura, Char Ilisha, Char Pial of Bhola district; a 100km long Tentulia river from Bheduria of Bhola to Char Rustom of Patuakhali; and a 40km long Andharmanik river route under Kalapara upazila in Patuakhali.
Latif Biswas said a total of 330km area in 21 upazilas under four districts has been declared sanctuary for hilsa.
Fishing in the sanctuaries in Chandpur, Laxmipur and Bhola is prohibited from March to April while the ban comes into effect from November to January in Patuakhali, he said.
The minister said around 2.85 lakh tonnes of hilsa fish have been netted in the first seven months of this fiscal year and the production may reach 3 lakh tonnes at the end of the year.
The export earning has been doubled in the first seven months of the current fiscal year compared to last year, and the government earned Tk 280 crore exporting 6,898 tonnes of hilsa till February this fiscal year, he said.
The government will have to spend around Tk 5.17 crore for alternative employment of the fishermen in these districts, he added.
Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Uzzal Bikash Dutta, among others, was present at the briefing.