Coast Guard recovered the bodies of two fishermen from the Bay of Bengal Tuesday and Wednesday almost a week after a fishing boat carrying them capsized when a hole appeared in the vessel and water started gushing into it. The deceased were identified as Yusuf, 25, and Bayezid, 20, Barguna's Patharghata. Kazi Shaminul Bari, Coast Guard Kachikhali Contingent commander, said the duo started sleeping on the boat after casting their net to catch fish in the Bay on January 5. "They went missing after their fishing boat sank." The Coast Guard personnel had been carrying out rescue operations to find the missing fishermen in the Bay and several areas of the Sundarbans since January 6, he said. Although the fishing boat was salvaged from the Bay on the following day, floating bodies of Yusuf and Bayezid were found on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning from the sea, Shaminul said. Md Ikram Hossain, officer-in-charge of Sharankhola Police Station, said the bodies were handed over to their families after the completion of legal procedures. Read more: 13 trawlers sink in Bay in Cox’s Bazar
The Forest Department has detained 16 fishermen from the Sundarbans for catching Parshe (mullet) fries, during its breeding period from November-January, from the river and canals defying a ban. A team of Forest Department (West) led by Zahirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Nilkomol Patrol Outpost, detained the fishermen around 4:30am on Thursday during a drive at the Bangabandhur Char area, said Divisional Forest Officer of Sundarbans West Forest Division Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain. They also seized two fishing boats, he added. "A case has been filed under the Forest Act; the fishermen have been sent to Koyra Upazila Senior Judicial Magistrate Court." Read more: 11 kidnapped fishermen rescued in Sundarbans: Police Fishermen of Shyamnagar, Koyra, Paikgacha, and Dakop surrounding the Sundarbans are using illegal nets to catch fish fries. The fishermen illegally catch a large number of fish fries from the Sundarbans' Alor Kol, Dublar Char, Batlurchar, Chachanangla, Poshur, Agun Jala, Kalir Char, Gera Chalki, Bajbaja, Hanshoraj, Andarmanik, Dhangmari; Chichkhali and Majjat rivers. Due to the use of monofilament nets, Parshe fish fries and different species of fish are being killed. Around 20-25 groups of 8-10 fishermen on engine-driven fishing boats are using 200-300-metre long and 40-50-metre wide nets to catch a maund of fish fries of different species in each haul every day. Also, some forest officials tip the fishermen off when their senior officials prepare for conducting a drive in the Sundarbans. Next, the fishermen hide in the forest. And when the drive is over they resume their illegal fishing. Read more: 26 rescued Bangladeshi fishermen return from India Poshur River Waterkeeper Coordinator Md Nur Alam Sheikh said a group of money lenders pay low-income fishermen a lot of money in advance to send them to the Sundarbans to make extra profit with fish fries. Some forest officials and employees are also cooperating with them in exchange for a large amount of money, he added.
Police on Wednesday rescued 11 fishermen, who were kidnapped by robbers from different areas of the Sundarbans from December 13 to 18. Those rescued were identified as Hanif, 48, Sohel Mallick, 28, Asadul Sheikh, 32, Akram Sheikh, 42, Anichh Sheikh, 22, Milon Sheikh, 23, Rafiqul Islam Khan, 35, Shukkur Ali Befari, 30, Monir Befari, 36 and Baktiar Befari, 35, hailing from different areas of Bagerhat and Khulna districts. However, no criminals have been detained so far in this connection. Read more: 'Operation Sundarban' mesmerises audience at star-studded premiere The criminals kidnapped the fishermen with their trawlers and other valuables from rivers and canals in the Sundarbans while they were fishing. Later, the kidnappers demanded ransom from the families of the victims over mobile phone. KM Arifqul Hoque, superintendent of police of the district, said police teams from Mongla and Sharankhola police stations conducted drives in the forest and rescued the fishermen. He said such drives will continue to make the forest free from the robbers and other criminals. Eight of the rescued fishermen were taken to Mongla police station and 3 others to Sharankhola police station. Read more: Shooting of ‘Operation Sundarbans’ begins
The fishing community of Cox’s Bazar is very happy with business catching Hilsa in swarms. Fishing trawlers are returning to the shore full of Hilsa and other fish, bringing down the prices to a tolerable level. Once deserted fish warehouses and markets of the district are now buzzing with fishermen, traders, and buyers from morning to night. Visiting Cox’s Bazar Fisheries Landing Station, UNB found the place in a celebratory mood. After the onslaught of Cyclone Sitrang and a 22-day ban on Hilsa catching, hundreds of fishing trawlers are arriving at the station with tons of Hilsa every day. Read More: With Hilsa catch declining, Bagerhat fishermen stare at penury No one seems to have time for doing anything else at the landing station. Some were loading the fish into warehouses, some were breaking ice while others were arranging the fishes in baskets. Many traders were also seen sending truckloads of Hilsa consignments to different parts of the country after getting expected prices.
Fishermen are gearing up to resume netting, as the 22-day ban on catching, selling, transportation and hoarding of the delicious hilsa ends on Friday midnight. Fishermen in different districts, including Chandpur, are preparing their fishing nets and trawlers to head to the rivers after 12am. Read more: 5 arrested with five maunds of Hilsa in Shariatpur Like previous years, the ban was imposed on a 90-kilometre-long area from Matlab Shatnol to Haimchar in Chandpur. The law enforcers seized huge quantities of mother hilsa and fishing nets, trawlers in different parts of the country for catching hilsa defying the ban. Fisheries department, upazila and district administrations, police and Coast Guard personnel carried out regular drives to make sure that the ban was implemented strictly. During the ban, around 50,000 fishermen remained unemployed and were allocated 25kg of rice each, which was not enough for them, said local fishers. Taukir Ahmed, an official from the control room of the district fisheries office, said around 212 fishermen were sent to jail during the ban period in 178 cases. Besides, 41,855 metres of current nets were seized and destroyed, said head of Chandpur Naval Police Mohammad Kamruzzaman. The 22-day government ban on hilsa catching, selling, hoarding and transporting came into effect on October 7, with a view to boosting its production. The ban covered hilsa sanctuaries in six districts -- Barishal, Chandpur, Laxmipur, Bhola, Shariatpur and Patuakhali. Read more: Hilsa ban: 18 detained in Bhola after fishermen clash with police again Hilsa, the national fish of Bangladesh, is recognised as a certified patented product of Bangladesh. The marine fish goes to rivers in Bangladesh to lay eggs. The fish is very popular both in Bangladesh and West Bengal. About 75 per cent of the world's hilsa is netted in Bangladesh. Chandpur is considered one of the largest trading hubs of hilsa in Bangladesh as the fish from the Padma river is much more popular than the ones that come from other rivers.
Four people, including two cops, were injured in a clash that ensued after fishermen allegedly attacked the police in the Padma River in Bhola Saturday. Police have detained 18 fishermen in connection with the attack so far. Md Akhtar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Ilisha River Police Station, said being informed they conducted a drive in Char area under the Sadar upazila by a trawler around 5am. Sensing the presence of the law enforcers, the fishermen, who were netting fish in the river, hurled brickbats targeting the cops when they were chased, he said adding that police retaliated with shotgun rounds, leaving four people including two sub-inspectors injured in the attack. Read: Cops among 20 injured in attack by fishermen in Barishal Later, a total of 18 fishermen were detained, 10,000 metres of current net and a fishing trawler were also seized, he said. A case was filed in this connection, the OC added.
Police filed a case accusing some 50 unidentified fishermen over the alleged attack on river police by the fishing community that left six cops injured on Monday night. Md Kamruzzaman, officer-in-charge of Chandpur River Police Station, said their Assistant Sub-Inspector Saiful Islam filed the case against 50 unidentified fishermen at the police station following the attack. He, however, said no one could be arrested in this connection. Fishermen alleged that they only get a 25 kg allotment of rice from the government to survive with family members during the 22-day ban, which is too miserly against their demand. At least six cops were injured in the attack by fishermen when the law enforcers were enforcing a ban on hilsa catching in the Meghna River in Chandpur on Monday night. The government imposed a 22-day ban on catching, selling, hoarding and transporting of hilsa – from October 7 to October 28 this year– to protect safe spawning of the fish during its peak breeding period. Read: Defying Hilsa ban: 8 fishermen get 14 days in jail each On Monday night, a team led by executive magistrates Sharmin Akhter and Zahid Hasan, went to Bishnapur union's Safarmali area in Sadar upazila to conduct the drive when a group of fishermen hurled brickbats at them, OC Quamruzzaman said. "Hasan Mia, 26, of river police was critically injured during the attack. He was taken to Chandpur General Hospital. Later, Hasan was referred to Central Police Hospital in Dhaka," he added. "Several other policemen were injured in this attack and received primary treatment at Chandpur General Hospital." On the other hand, a team of Alu Bazar police outpost conducted a drive to curb fishing during the ban period in Nilkamol area of the Meghan River on Monday afternoon. Sensing the presence of the police, some fishermen on board an engine-run trawler hit the police speedboat, which caused four fishermen to fall in the river and the loss of a shotgun of one Bashar. Md Jahirul Islam, in-charge of the police outpost, said divers from the fire service are yet to recover the gun from the river after conducting drives on Monday night and entire Tuesday. The four fishermen were rescued. Md Kamruzzaman, superintendent of police of Chandpur Zone River Police, said they are vigilant to save mother Hilsas and none will be spared in connection with the attack on cops.
A mobile court on Tuesday sentenced eight fishermen to 14 days in jail each, for catching the much-coveted Hilsa fish in defiance of a temporary, three-week ban imposed by the government – itself aimed at replenishing Hilsa stocks and making livelihoods around its survival more sustainable. the Padma and Meghan rivers in the district. The court led by Hajiganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Rashedul Islam also released two minor boys after taking a bond from their family in this connection, ARM Jahid Hasan, executive magistrate of the district administration, told reporters. The convicts are Mohammad Jahangir, Yakub Bepari, Nurul Islam, Golam Mostafa, Md Rubel, Mahbub Bepari, Sajal Chandra Das and Nazrul Islam. Read: Banned fishing nets worth over Tk 9 cr seized in Chandpur Magistrate Jahid Hasan said a joint team comprising members of the district fisheries office, river police and the Coast Guard conducted raids in different spots of the Padma and Meghna rivers, both sanctuaries of the King of Fish, as Hilsa is known throughout Bengal, including India’s West Bengal. Eventually police detained 10 individuals who were caught red-handed in the act of fishing with current nets. Some 10,000 metres of fishing nets and an engine-run boat were also seized during the drive, he said, adding that the nets were later burnt. Besides, illegally caught fish weighing over 13kg were distributed among the distressed and orphans, added the magistrate.
At least 10 fishermen were detained by the local administration of Shariatpur after a clash between the river police and Hilsa catchers at Painpara Char in Jajira upazila on Saturday night. The clash erupted when a team led by Jajira Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Kamrul Hasan conducted a drive in the Padma river at Jajira point and found a group of fishermen catching Hilsa in violation of a government ban. The ban is effective till October 28. “Following the government’s directive, the local administration in association with Upazila Fisheries Officer and river police were distributing leaflets to make people aware about protecting mother Hilsa and increase Hilsa production in Kazirhat and Dubisabar Bandar area. Later, we conducted a drive in the nearby Padma river to ensure that no one was catching Hilsa illegally,” said Kamrul. Kamrul added that around a hundred fishermen suddenly attacked the patrol team when they reached Painpara Char. Read: 22-day ban on hilsa fishing begins Friday “The Hilsa catchers backtracked when river police fired nine rounds of empty bullets. We detained 10 fishermen from the spot, among whom nine have been given one month’s imprisonment and one has received two months' imprisonment,” the UNO added. A process is ongoing for filing a case against the detainees, Kamrul further said.
Coast Guard Wednesday detained 31 Indian fishermen for illegally fishing in Bangladesh's territorial waters. Two fishing boats were also seized. Lieutenant Commander Khandaker Munif Taki, media officer of Coast Guard, said they found the Indian boats illegally fishing in Bangladeshi waters – 77 nautical miles west of the international maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Coast Guard vessel Mansur Ali conducted the operation. The detainees were handed over to Mongla Police Station Thursday, Munif said. Read: 13 more Indian fishermen held from Bay of Bengal To secure their marine resources in the Bay of Bengal, India and Bangladesh settled their maritime boundary in 2014. However, fishermen from Bangladesh and India continue to commit unlawful forays into each other's sovereign waters, leading to the enforcement of punitive measures against those accused or convicted. Such incidents not only jeopardise the fishers' livelihoods but repeated occurrences also nettle relations