As dead fishes and ducks continue to surface in the haors of Sunamganj, a fisheries department official today said that 50 metric tonnes of fish have died so far.
Joint Secretary of Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Syed Mehdi Hasan, who is currently visiting the haors in the area, disclosed the figure while talking to our Moulvibazar correspondent.
Over loudspeakers, locals were advised since yesterday to stop catching and consuming the fish and ducks for the next seven days, the correspondent reports quoting Deputy Director of Fisheries Department in Sylhet Mosharraf Hossain.
Most of the water still remains polluted and a heavy amount of rain will help the water to return to normal, Mehdi Hasan said.
Locals have been at a loss while trying to deal with this crisis. One Monir Miah of Anandapur village in Tahirpur upazila said, 10kg spawns of carp fish were released into his beel in February. Each kilogramme of spawn was supposed to yield 2.5 lakh fries. But everything got washed away around the beginning of April.
“I have never in my life seen paddy rotting and as a result fish dying in this manner. It is quite shocking,” said Anil Das, a 35 year old fisherman of the same village.
Meanwhile, a five -member team of Botany Department at Dhaka University led by Professor Dr Moniruzzaman is also visiting some of the haors in Sunamganj to collect water samples.
Moulvibazar Fisheries Department held a press briefing in the afternoon and informed the current situation of the water and fish at Hakaluki haor, said Sultan Mahmud, senior fisheries officer of Kulaura.
However, the deaths of fish, frogs and fowls in their hundreds as an aftermath of such floods in Sylhet region caused by the late March onrush of upstream hill waters are a new phenomenon altogether.
The hilly water and excessive rains submerged a vast tract of backswamp in Sunamganj and a few other northeastern haor zones.
The flash floods submerged the wetland of Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj, Netrokona, Kishoreganj, Brahmanbaria and Moulvibazar.
And an outcry across the border over India's exposing open pits of uranium to a river system causing deaths of fish has made experts in Bangladesh concerned about a likely link.