Government to increase fish harvesting in the deep sea

Shirajul Islam Siraj, Special Correspondent,
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Government wants to increase fish collection in the deep sea. Giving of new license is now stopped for fish collection up to 200 nautical miles. However this ban will not be applicable to those who want to catch in the deep sea. Rather the government will give encouragement to them.

This was confirmed by Assistant Director of the Sea Branch of the Fisheries Directorate (Reserve) Shawkat Chowdhury.

He told that we want to increase our share in fish collection. So far permissions for only 17 ships were given. Though there is a system to submit prayers after floating of tender, however the interested can submit prayers right now. If new applications are received then the tenders will be floated in short time by the Fisheries Directorate, he said.

Shawkat Chowdhury said that according to procedure when the prayers will be found correct, permission will be given to import ships. After six months of the permission the design of the ship has to be submitted. After approval of the design two years time is given for importing ship.

After importing the ship the fitness certificate has to be obtained from the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD). Final approval for fish harvesting in the deep sea is given subject to receiving of the fitness certificate. There is a condition that there is no scope to import a ship which is not more than five years old.

On the other hand a survey work is going on regarding the sea resources of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) up to two hundred nautical miles. The survey has begun in 2016 which will end in next June. Granting license for fish harvesting will depend on the survey report. However there are unapproved 255 licenses at present.

Presently 22 percent fish of the total production comes from sea harvesting contributing 3.4 percent in the GDP. While that contributes four percent in the country’s export earnings. There are 11 lakh fishermen in the country now, of whom one third is involved in sea fish harvesting. Out side this number a big number of the total population is involved in part time fish collection. 

Bangladesh has the right to fishing in the Indian Ocean. Vietnam is earning crores of money by catching only ‘Tuna’ fish. In 20111 Vietnam earned 21 crores of dollars by exporting ‘Tuna’ fish. But Bangladesh has now given approval to only 17 ships after floating tenders in 2016 and 2017.