Like every year, hilsa harvesting will be prohibited across the country for 22 days during the main breeding season of the fish, from 7 to 28 October.
Hilsa transportation, buying and selling, storage and exchange will be prohibited nationwide for these 22 days. A mother hilsa conservation campaign will be implemented during the ban, said SM Rezaul Karim, minister of fisheries and livestock, at a meeting of the National Task Force Committee on Hilsa Resource Development.
The Thursday meeting to set the timing of hilsa harvesting during the main breeding season and to implement a mother hilsa conservation campaign, took place at the Directorate of Fisheries in the capital's Matsya Bhavan.
During the ban, the government will provide VGF food assistance to the fishermen affected by the ban, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
At the meeting, SM Rezaul Karim said, "All those who come to fish during the prohibited time are not fishermen. Behind them are many rich and powerful people. As in the past, these dishonest people will not be exempted to protect hilsa resources."
He said that in addition to day operations, night operations will also be intensified. The local administration will take measures to stop ice mills in the district and upazila concerned. Like last year, operations will be conducted at illegal fishing net production sites. Actions will also be taken to prevent illegal hilsa trafficking.
The minister also said that due to the increase in hilsa production because of various initiatives of the government, hilsa is now available in the villages. Village people too can afford to eat hilsa. Besides, hilsa is also being exported.
Hilsa breeding is affected if unplanned sand extraction is done in the breeding area. A certain kind of environment is required for mother hilsa to lay eggs but in many cases, the breeding environment is destroyed due to heavy traffic, vehicular exhaust, and garbage. As a result, hilsa does not live in that area and goes elsewhere, the minister added.