Thousands of fishermen of Bagerhat have started going into the Bay of Bengal to catch fish for drying, while fishermen in Patuakhali are happy as the ban on fishing was lifted on October 29.
Bagerhat fishermen started their journey on Monday with all the necessary equipment from Chila area of the Pasur river in Mongla of the district, overcoming the fear of sea robbers and storms, our correspondent reports.
The fishermen of different areas in Mongla, Rampal, Dacope, Sharankhola, Paikgachha and Shyamnagar adjacent of Khulna left their localities the same day.
The catching season starts from October every year, but the fishermen could not go to the sea from October 7 to October 28 this year due to ban on catching fish, including hilsa.
Fishermen of Mongla, Rampal, Khulna, Satkhira, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal and Chattogram regions will make temporary sheds on the chars of the Bay for drying fish until March 15, said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Eastern Sundarbans Division Mahmudul Hasan.
They will start catching fish in the Bay from November 1 and dry them in Dublar char, Alkorokol, Office Killa, Meheralir char, Shalar char and Narkalbaria.
Dubla Fishermen's Group General Secretary Kamal Uddin Ahmed said the coastal region's seasonal fishermen are going to different chars, including Dubla char, despite the fear of cyclones and sea robbers. The government should take necessary steps to protect the fishermen from natural disasters as well as robbers, he added.
“We aim to achieve the target of Tk two crore as revenue from Dublar char,” the DFO said.
“We have given approval for 48 depot homes for 1,025 fishermen as well as mahajans at Dublar char. Each room will be 28 feet in length and 12 feet in width. The fishermen will collect the fish for drying in eight chars, including Dublar char, from the end of October to the middle of the March,” he added.
He further said that the fishermen have been given passes for fishing on the condition that they will not cut trees from the forest for making temporary sheds or for fuel. Monitoring by the forest department has been increased to prevent crimes inside the Sundarbans.
Meanwhile, in Patuakhali, fishermen and fish traders are very happy as plenty of hilsa fish are being netted. Fishermen are catching hilsa after a ban from October 7 to October 28, our correspondent reports.
Abul Hossain, a wholesaler of hilsa at Alipur bazar, a fish-landing station under Kalapara upazila, said many fishermen went to the Bay to catch hilsa after ending of the ban, and they are returning to the shore with good quantity of fish.
“Size and price of hilsa are also satisfactory and we are very happy,” he said, adding that fishermen and fish traders are busy as very large numbers of hilsa are being netted.
On Tuesday, this correspondent saw trawlers from the Bay coming to Alipur and Mohipur fish landing stations, and others going to the Bay for fishing after unloading their cargo.
All hilsa shops are busy with packaging and loading the fish onto trucks to send to different places across the country, including the capital.
On Tuesday, in Alipur and Mohipur, the price per maund (for over one kg in weight) of hilsa was only Tk 25,000 to Tk 30,000, Tk 18,000 to Tk 22,000 for 800 gram to 900 gram, Tk 14,000 to Tk 16,000 for 600 gram to 800 gram and Tk 10,000 to Tk 12,000 for below 500 gram.
Mojibur Rahman, a wholesaler of Mohipur fish landing station, said the price of hilsa is low as many hilsa-laden trawlers are coming to the fish landing station from the deep sea.
Fishermen are trying their best to catch hilsa as an eight-month-long ban on jatka fishing will be imposed on November 1, he added.