Bangladesh is a country of submerged with numerous wetlands. This is the blessing of nature that enriches the country with a rich aquatic biodiversity. About 265 Freshwater fish species are inhabitant in the water bodies of Bangladesh (Rahman, 2005), among which about 200 species are of small fishes (SIS fishes). According to IUCN Bangladesh (2000), Fifty four species are endangered. Such issues are occurring due to natural and man-made disturbance of wetlands. But there are various rules and regulations for conserving and protecting our enormous fisheries resources that should be informed and abide by the people of our country. Because, not only it is the duty of the people to abide by the rules and regulations of the republic, but also it is a part of patriotism. As a responsible citizen of Bangladesh, everybody should know and follow the rules and regulations to conserve, protect and develop our threatened natural aquatic resources. Therefore, some important fisheries rules and regulations are briefly described below.
A. The East Bengal Protection and Conservation of Fish Act, 1950
Some amendments, rules, ordinances and SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) were done depending on the above act, are as follows-
a. The East Bengal Protection and Conservation of Fish (Amendment) Act- 1950
b. The Protection and Conservation of Fish (Amendment) Ordinance- 1982
c. The Protection and Conservation of Fish Rules- 1985
d. The Protection and Conservation of Fish Rules- 1985… under this SRO –
1. The Protection and Conservation of Fish (Amendment) Act, 1995
The main characteristics of the above act, rules and SRO are as follows-
- To harvest fish creating permanent structures in rivers, canals and marshes is prohibited and in this case of seizure, removal and confiscation of the permanent structure can be done.
- To build temporary or permanent dams or structure in rivers, canals and marshes, except irrigation, flood protection and drainage are prohibited.
- It is prohibited to harvest fish in inland waters and coastal water bodies using different explosives and weapons.
- It is prohibited to kill fishes through destructive ways such as poisoning, making pollution, disposing commercial waste materials in inland waters.
- It is prohibited to catch fry and brood of snakeheads and to take measures which are destructive to snakehead in water bodies which have connection with rivers, canals and marshes except the catching of fry and brood for culture.
- It is prohibited to catch fry, fingerlings, and brood of Rui, Catla, Mrigel, Kalbaus and Gonia during specific period from selected 27 rivers and canals etc.
- Without the purpose of culture, nobody can catch, transport or sell the following fishes during the specific period and under specific size:
- Rui, Catla, Mrigel, Kalbaus and Gonia under the size of 23cm during November to May.
- ‘Jatka’ under the size of 23cm during November to May.
- Pangus under the size of 23cm during November to April.
- Shilong under the size of 30cm during February to June.
- Shol under the size of 30cm during February to June.
- Ayre under the size of 30cm during February to June.
- It is prohibited to catch fry and fingerling and PL (Post Larvae) of fish and spawn in the coastal region.
- Confiscated fish can be sold in auction.
- It is prohibited to catch fish using current net of mesh size 4.5cm or less.
- a) A person, who will disobey the above rule for the first time will have to suffer the punishment of rigorous imprisonment of minimum 1 month to maximum 6 months and a maximum fine of the Tk. 1000.
b) After the first time, the convicted person will have to suffer the punishment of rigorous imprisonment of minimum 2 months to maximum 1 year.
- A person who will disobey the rules of Fish Act, in special cases can be arrested without warrant.
The complaint or report on a person for disobeying the rules of Fish Act by a Fisheries Officer or a Police Officer is considered as cognizable offence.
2. The Protection and Conservation of Fish (Amendment) Act, 2002
The characteristics of the above Fish (Amendment) Act- 2002 are as follows:
- In case of current net, nobody can produce, weave, import, market, stock, carry, transport and keep under his possession and use them.
- If anybody disobeys the above rule, then he will be punished according to the following rules-
- The user of current nets will be punished an imprisonment of minimum 1 year and maximum 2 years or will be fined Tk. 5000 or both of imprisonment and fine.
- The producer, weaver, importer, marketing officer and stockiest of current nets will be punished rigorous imprisonment of minimum 3 years, extending up to 5 years and a fine of maximum Tk. 10,000.
- A person, who will carry, transport, keep under his possession and use current nets, will be punished rigorous imprisonment of minimum 1 year extending up to 2 years or will be fined Tk. 5000 or both of imprisonment and fine.
- The authorities who will take action against the persons who will disobey ‘The Protection and Conservation of Fish Act- 2002’:
- i) All Fisheries Officers, Officers empowered by the Government and Police Officers can search, investigate and seize the banned current nets.
- ii) Legal suit cannot be filled in lower courts below those of First Class Magistrate or Metropolitan Magistrate under ‘The Protection and Conservation of Fish Act-2002’.
- iii) The above courts can finalize the law suit through brief hearing.
B. The Fish and Fish Products Rules- 1997
The main characteristics of the above Ordinance and Rules are as follows:
- Processing, marketing, supply and export of fish and fish products can not be done without license.
- For fish processing, export, fish depot, fish arat and supplier one will have to pay fixed fee and ice plant, related to above organizations, must have license.
- HACCP procedure must be maintained in every step of fish processing and fish marketing.
- According to conditions of ordinance rule nos. 1, 2 and 3 fish processing plant construction and management can be done and this through fulfilling the conditions fish processing plant will get license.
- Processing, export and supply of unhygienic rotten fish on polluted fish cannot be done.
- Preliminary treatment of fish and prawn in unhygienic depot is prohibited.
- Preliminary treatment of fish and prawn must be done in hygienic service center, landing center and depot.
- Dressing of prawn and fish cannot be done outside the factory.
- For every lot of processed fish and fish product hygienic certificate must have to be taken.
- In fish and prawn culture, such kind of antibiotic, pesticide, hormone and chemical substances, cannot be used, which will destroy food value of fish and prawn.
- Any kind of ingredient in fish processing which will destroy the quality of fish and fish product cannot be used.
- Export of fish cannot be done without hygienic certificate.
- Every box or pot of processed fish and fish product must be labeled in English.
- All activities on steps of fish processing are under the legal purview of inspection.
- For giving hygienic certificate, sample of fish and fish product must be collected.
- The period of the license will be for a calendar year or for a part of it.
- Unhygienic fish or fish product, unsuitable for giving license, must be destroyed.
- Fish and fish product having hygienic certificate should be reexamined if there are proper considerable reasons.
- To disobey any conditions of Fish Rule are punishable offence.
- Cancelled license on fine for breaking rules can be coordinated for appeal paying fee.
C. Fish Hatchery Act- 2010
- The Fish Hatchery Act- 2010 has been enforced to produce good quality fertilized fish egg, post larvae of prawn and fish fry and fingerling through constructing appropriate quality fish/prawn hatchery and for better.
Though Bangladesh is a developing country, but the land has plenteous natural resources. Now it is our responsibility to conserve these valuable environmental resources. There are many rules and regulations besides the aforementioned, but all the rules and regulations may fall into decline if we are not aware and abide by. Our enriched aquatic biodiversity is declining gradually due to our regardless and indifference. Therefore, everybody regarding to fisheries sector should come forward to protect, conserve and develop this important agriculture sub-sector without any delay. Awareness and respect to follow the rules and regulations should build up nationwide by both the government and mass-media. Moreover, law enforcing authorities have to enforce the laws strictly. If everybody becomes aware of the fisheries sector, Bangladesh can achieve her protein supply and food security target, no doubt.
For more in details you may read the following documents to know different rules, regulations, ordinances, acts as well as laws relevant to fisheries sector of Bangladesh.
- The Tanks Improvement Act, 1939
- THE PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION OF FISH ACT, 1950
- THE GOVERNMENT FISHERIES (PROTECTION) ORDINANCE, 1959
- East Pakistan Government Fisheries (Protection) Ordinance, 1959
- THE BANGLADESH FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ACT, 1973
- Bangladesh Civil Service (Agriculture:Fisheries) Composition and Cadre Rules, 1980
- THE FISH AND FISH PRODUCTS (INSPECTION AND QUALITY CONTROL) ORDINANCE, 1983
- THE MARINE FISHERIES ORDINANCE, 1983
- The Marine Fisheries Rules, 1983
- The Fish and products (Inspection and Quality Control) ordinance, 1983
- THE FISHERIES RESEARCH INSTITUTE ORDINANCE, 1984
- The Protection and Conservation of Fish Rules, 1985
- THE PRIVATE FISHERIES PROTECTION ACT, 1889
- National Fisheries Policy, 1998
- মৎস্যখাদ্য ও পশুখাদ্য অধ্যাদেশ, ২০০৮
- মৎস্যখাদ্য ও পশুখাদ্য আইন, ২০১০
- মৎস্য হ্যাচারি আইন, ২০১০
Nota bene (NB):
- This feature is not the official statement.
- The information featured in this page is only for acquaintance purposes.
- For official words, please always refer to the official statement of the Government of Bangladesh (which is listed above with links).
- Haque SMR 2010. Khamar (In Bengali, Translated to English by Prof. M. Shahidur Rahman, Dept. of Fisheries Management, BAU, Mymensingh), 16(3): 29-32.
- IUCN Bangladesh. 2000. Red Book of Threatened Fishes of Bangladesh. IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Bangladesh. 116 pp.
- Rahman AKA 2005. Freshwater fishes of Bangladesh (2nd ed). Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka. pp 66- 67.
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