DHAKA : Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda yesterday said the government has formulated a plan of action for sustainable management of fisheries resources in the Bay of Bengal.
“With the participation of the stakeholder a short, medium and long term plan of action has been formulated for sustainable management of the fisheries resources at the Bay of Bengal,” the minister told a press conference in his ministry’s conference room here, reports BSS.
He said a new horizon of capturing deep and light water fishes has been opened by identifying new fisheries areas with 1,18,813 square kilometers of water boundary at the Bay of Bengal after the historic triumph by the government.
The fisheries research and survey ship – RV Mean Sandhani -has already identified 176 fish species, 13 species of shrimp and 14 other species of crustaceans and Mollusks, a large phylum of invertebrate animals in the sea, he said, adding that the survey is being continued since December 24 of 2016.
Bangladesh has already been included as a ‘pilot country’ in the blue growth of economy, said he. Terming the fish production as significant in the country due to initiatives undertaken by the government, Chandra said, “The hilsha production was around 3.95 lakh metric tons in 2015-16 fiscal year and it crossed 5 lakh metric tons in 2016-17.” The hilsha production was only 2.98 lakh metric ton in 2008-09, he added.
Under the social safety net programme, he said the present government had provided a total of 38,187.68 metric tons of rice for 2,38,673 fishermen and each family of fishermen got 40 kg rice every month for four months in 85 upazilas of 17 Jatka prone districts during 2016-17 fiscal year.
The food grain distribution under the programme was only 6,906 metric tons in seven years to 2008-09 fiscal year when the present government took office, he said.
On the other hand, he said, the present government distributed a total of 2,34756.96 metric tons of food aid among the fishermen in last nine years between 2008-09 and 2016-17 fiscal year.
He said the hilsha fish had also achieved the geographical commodity registration certificate with an acknowledgement of Bangladeshi local fish due to the initiative of the government.
About increased production of fishes, the minister said the present government has established 534 fish sanctuaries in different rivers and opened water bodies in the last nine years since 2008-09 as an strategy to restore and increase production of various extinct species of fishes.
As a result, different species of extinct and rare fish breed including ‘Ekthot’, ‘Teriphuti’, ‘Meni’, ‘Rani’, ‘Gora’, ‘Gutum’, ‘Chital’, ‘Pholi’, ‘Bamosh’, ‘Kalibaos’, ‘Iyeer’, ‘Tengra’, ‘Sarphuthi’, ‘Modhu’, ‘Pabda’, ‘Ritha’, ‘Kazli’, “Chaka’, ‘Gazar’ and Baim already have been recovered and are now available in the fish market across the country.
The availability of Koi, Shingi, Magur and Pabda is very significant and it has been possible due to installation of the fish sanctuaries in many parts of the country.
About the development of the fishermen, the minister informed that the present government has taken various initiative for the development of the fishermen, adding that “the government has prepared database of some 16,20,000 fishermen till June 2017 and gave identity cards to 14,20,000 fishermen.”
In addition to this, the government has distributed a total of Taka 289.70 lakh as grant among 587 fishermen’s families for causalities due to natural disasters between 2012-13 and 2016-17, he added.