Fishermen in coastal districts are taking preparation to go to the Bay of Bengal to resume catching hilsa as the 22-day ban on fishing the delicious fish comes to an end on Monday.
The government imposed the ban on catching, selling, hoarding and transportation of hilsa in the country for 22 days from 7 to 28 October to boost the production through protection of the mother fish during the peak of the breeding season.
During a visit to KB Bazar Ghat adjacent to Doratana River on Friday, the UNB correspondent saw the fishermen preparing their trawlers and fishing nets to go to the Bay of Bengal to catch hilsa.
Trawlers were being towed to rivers from the dockyard. Fishing nets, fuel and daily essentials were being loaded in the trawlers.
Thousands of fishermen are waiting to start their journeys to the sea.
Local fishermen alleged that fishermen from India enter Bangladesh water territories illegally to catch hilsa during the ban.
They demanded government steps so that the Indian fishermen cannot enter the Bangladesh territory.
Idris Sheikh, president of Bagerhat Coastal Fishermen Association, urged the government to take steps so that foreign fishermen could not enter Bangladesh territory to catch fish.
Officials at the fisheries department, Bangladesh Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, district and upazila administration, police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted drives to prevent hilsa fishing during the period of ban.
Besides, executive magistrates conducted mobile courts and punished a good number of fishermen who violated the ban.
Haque Islam, a fisherman of 'FB Sabbir' trawler of Khulna district, said that they returned to the ghat from the Bay on 6 October obeying the government ban. Now, they are taking preparations to go again for catching hilsa. Their trawlers and nets are prepared to resume fishing.
Zia Haider Chowdhury, district fisheries officer, said, "Now we've to save Hilsa fry (under 10 inches). The authorities will impose a ban on catching Hilsa fry in the coastal areas from 1 November to 30 June next year."