Fishermen report massive hauls, citing the closure as a possible reason
Fishing in Cox’s Bazar has resumed at full throttle after a two-month suspension on fishing, imposed by the government on the Bay of Bengal, was lifted.
The government suspended all fishing activities in the sea on May 20, and finally lifted the suspension on July 23.
Since then, a host of fishing vessels, carrying over 40,000 fishermen, have been at work, reportedly netting considerably more fish as a result of the closure.
Mostaq Ahmed, organizing secretary of the Cox's Bazar Fishing Boat Owners' Association, said there are about 10,000 small and large fishing boats and trawlers engaged in fishing.
If the weather stays favorable, they might fill the country's shortage of fish and even have some left for export, he added.
Abul Kalam, a fisherman from Samitipara in Cox's Bazar, said the fisherman in the district had been in a state of crisis due to the fishing ban, compounded further by the coronavirus pandemic. The lifting of the ban comes as a huge relief to the community.
However, Cox's Bazar District Fisheries Officer SM Khalequzzaman Biplob puts matters into perspective, saying: “The number of fishes in the sea have declined for various reasons. In the past, large fish of different species could be found in the sea. They are not so common now. One of the reasons for that is fishing during breeding seasons. That is why the government banned fishing for two months.”