Eighty-seven local fishermen have joined a laudable initiative, working for protection of mother hilsa in the Andharmanik river in Kalapara upazila under the district during the ongoing ban on catching and sale of the popular fish, thanks to the initiative of Kalapara upazila fisheries officer.
Under the banner of 'community fish guards', they have formed several groups to keep watch on the river area round the clock so that nobody can catch fish there in violation of the official ban from October 1 to October 22.
“We have formed a unity of local fishermen who showed interest in voluntary service to help breeding of hilsa,” said Md Kamrul Islam, Kalapara upazila fisheries officer.
“Eighty-seven fishermen of Nilganj and Mohipur unions of the upazila have been included under the fisheries department's project named 'Eco-fish'. We gave them uniforms, caps, torch lights, umbrellas etc to do the work smoothly. The initiative has been taken to increase awareness among local fishermen and encourage them to offer voluntary service to protect hilsa in the ban period. If anyone is seen netting hilsa, they try to prevent it. In case of failure, they inform us so that we can take lawful step,” he said.
Abul Bashar, a community fish guards' leader of Fatehpur village, said they are contributing in the task considering the importance of protecting the valuable fish.
“We walk in the river bank areas in small groups to ensure that nobody can net fish here in violation of the ban,” he said.
“It is a very interesting job to protect mother hilsas that come to rivers to lay eggs. We refrain from catching fish and encourage others to do the same during the ban,” said Md Monir Hossain, another community fish guards' leader of Hossenpur village.