Dhaka, May 30 (UNB)— Human rights groups on Thursday urged the government to keep small-scale poor fishermen out of the 65-day fishing ban in the Bay of Bengal.
They asked the authorities concerned to bring identified polluters under accountability to protect the fish reserve and natural ecosystem at a Human Chain in front of National Press Club. It was jointly organised by COAST Trust and Bangladesh Fish Workers’ Alliance (BFWA).
Mustafa Kamal Akanda of COAST Trust moderated the session.
BFWA General Secretary Mujibul Huq Munir presented the keynote paper while Barkat Ullah Maruf of COAST Trust, Badrul Alam and Rehana Akter of Bangladesh Krishok Federation also spoke at the programme.
Munir in his keynote paper presentation said, small-scale fishermen do not harm the fish reserve or ecosystem of the Bay.
“They should be left out of the 65-day fishing ban,” he added.
Demanding Tk 8,000 for every fishing family, Akanda said 40kg rice during the fishing ban as compensation is a farce.
He said that fishermen of India’s Odisha and Tamilnadu get 5,000 Rupees per month during the fishing ban.
Rehana Akter, vice-president of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, said all fishermen, including the poor fishing labourers, should be officially enlisted for getting compensation without corruption or any duplication.
She said that risk incentives and insurance for the seafaring fishermen should be introduced.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said poor fishing community are only four percent responsible for the ecosystem damage in the Bay but are the only sufferer of the fishing ban.