At least 13 fishermen have died with around 50 fishing trawlers having capsized in the last four days in extreme weather resulting from low-pressure in the Bay of Bengal.
Over 200 people have gone missing in these incidents, according to the Bangladesh Coast Guard.
Sources at the Bangladesh Coast Guard's East, South, and West zones, said 38 trawlers capsized in the Rangabali, Hatia, Manpura, Nazirartek, Sonadia channel, Hatia, Sandwip, and Sundarbans coasts.
Aside from that, 11 trawlers capsized in Kuakata, said the Kuakata Matsa Arat Samiti. Moreover, four trawlers capsized in the Kakdwip area on the Indian side of the Sundarbans and the surrounding area, said sources.
Media Officer of Bangladesh Coast Guard Southern, Lt Colonel KM Shafiul Kinjal, told The Business Standard (TBS) , "Around 195 fishermen from 18 trawlers that capsized in Patuakhali, Rangabali, Hatia, and Manpura, went missing while fishing in the sea on Monday (22 August).
"Of them, 84 people have been rescued. Three bodies have been recovered, while the rest are still missing," he added.
Another 11 fishing trawlers with at least 160 fishermen onboard, capsized between Friday afternoon and Sunday midnight in the Bay of Bengal, near Kuakata in Patuakhali. Of the 160 fishermen, 34 are still missing.
On 19 August, 18 trawlers sank at various points including Nazirertek in Cox's Bazar and Sonadia Channel in Maheshkhali, Hatia, and Guptachara Naughat in Sandwip.
Mohammad Majnu, in-charge of the Intelligence Department of Bangladesh Coast Guard (Eastern Region) told TBS that since Sunday night they have recovered the bodies of eight people who died in these incidents.
On 19 August, the fishing trawler FB Maer Doa sank in the Nazirertek channel. At that time, the coast guard rescued 19 fishermen of eight of the trawlers. Three more fishermen returned to the shore in another trawler.
The bodies of two fishermen, Mohammad Abu Taib and Saiful Islam, were recovered next day afternoon, M Hamidul Islam, contingent commander of Coast Guard Cox's Bazar station, told TBS.
Four fishing trawlers from Bhola sank with 60 crewmen onboard in Cox's Bazar's fishing grounds. Of them, 30 fishermen were rescued, but 30 others were still missing.
Lalmohan Upazila Marine Fisheries Officer Tanveer Ahmed said the trawlers went to sea on the afternoon of 17 August.
Bangladesh Coast Guard Media Officer Khandakar Munif Tawki told TBS, "21 fishermen of a fishing trawler named 'Rivermate' were rescued from Akram Point in the Sundarbans on 21 August. All of them were from Noakhali Ramgati.
"Meanwhile, 23 fishermen of a trawler named MV Mayer Doa were rescued from the Kalapara coast of Patuakhali. They are all from Chattogram's Banshkhali area," he added.
The Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard have rescued 114 Bangladeshi fishermen in the last 36 hours from Kakdwip and surrounding areas of the Indian part of the Sundarbans.
Corporal Md Sabuj of Bangladesh Coast Guard (Western Region) told TBS, "The fishermen did not have time to return to the shore as the Bay of Bengal suddenly became rough last Friday. At that time, several trawlers of Bangladeshi and Indian fishermen sank in the Sundarbans coast and about 300 fishermen of the two countries disappeared."
"After that, the coast guard of the two countries started an operation to rescue the Indian and Bangladeshi fishermen," he said.
Patuakhali Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Kamal Hossain told TBS, "The district administration and the Coast Guard regularly inform fishermen about atmospheric low pressure out at sea, but they cannot be held back as it is the peak season for Hilsa and the fishermen go out to sea despite the risks. These undesirable events are happening due to disregard and lack of awareness."
Meteorologist Harun-Or-Rashid of Patenga Meteorological Office told TBS, "The low pressure in the sea has passed, but there is a possibility of light to moderate rain. Currently, there is no cautionary signal."