Fishing ban leaves Bangladeshi fishermen all at sea

Light of truth

The Bangladeshi government’s unprecedented two-month sea fishing ban has hit thousands of fishermen in the country’s long southern coastal zone.

Lamenting their loss of livelihood and pondering alternative means of survival, many have taken to the streets to protest against the ban in recent days. Protesters have demanded the ban be shortened and fishermen get allowances from the government while they cannot go fishing.

The government imposed a ban on fishing from May 20 to July 23 in the Bay of Bengal in line with Marine Fisheries Ordinance 1883 (amended in 2015) to ensure the smooth breeding of fish.

In April, the Department of Fisheries sent out an order to fisheries officers in 19 coastal districts to implement the ban and take action against those who violate it.

Although a praiseworthy move in terms of conservation and increasing fish stocks, the ban has faced criticism for having no apparent rehabilitation program for thousands of vulnerable fishermen.

It came into force just weeks before Muslim-majority Bangladesh is to celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr festival in the first week of June.

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