Fishermen Temporarily Block Highway in Bangladesh to Protest Annual Fishing Restrictions

June 09: Fishermen have called off their protest against the government’s decision to ban deep-sea fishing after blockading the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway in Sitakunda for about one and a half hours on Sunday.

Scores of people from the fishermen’s community took up station on the highway in the Bhatiari Toll Road around 10am on Sunday, said Md Farhad, assistant superintendent of police’s Chattogram Zone.

Traffic on the Dhaka-Chattogram came to a standstill during that time, he added. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded in tailbacks on both sides of the road.

The protesters later left the streets on assurances from the local MP and Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO).

Sitakunda UNO Milton Rai said, “Fishermen took to the streets in protest against the ban on deep-sea fishing. The MP and I have spoken to the deputy commissioner about resolving the issue.  We will hold a meeting together with the leaders of the fishing community at the Deputy Commisioner’s Office.”

The ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal started on May 20 and is set to run for 65 days. It applies to all water vessels until Jul 23.

The fishing ban was first introduced in 2015 to preserve fish stock and ensure proper breeding. The restriction has been in effect every year since for a specified period.  

Source: BDNews24 / Chattogram Bureau

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