A section of unscrupulous people have continued using current and mono filament nets for catching fish and spawn in different rivers and canals in the Sundarbans, posing threat to indigenous fish stock in the area.
Although the fishermen mainly target catching and sale of larvae of parshey and patary fishes as well as shrimp and prawn, more than 100 species of fishes and their larvae are netted.
The rest are thrown away as waste, said Amzad Sheikh, a fisherman of Kalmibunia village of Kachua upazila under the district.
A section of traders make advance payment to the fishermen to supply parshey, patary, shrimp and prawn larvae to the owners of fish enclosures.
After getting the money, they go to the Sundarbans to catch the larvae in Dubalar Char, Batlurchar, Chacha Nangla, Kalir Char, Gera Chalaki, Hangsaraj, Andarmanik, Dhangmari and Chichkhali areas, he said.
“Catching of all kinds of fish spawn is prohibited in the Sundarbans. But some unscrupulous people are netting it illegally after receiving permit for other purposes from the forest department,” said Shaheen Kabir, assistant range officer of East Sundarbans.
“As they are using current nets and mono-filament nets to catch fishes, many kinds of fish larvae are caught. And a large portion of the netted larvae die before keeping in water pots,” he added.
“We are continuing our drives against the dishonest fishermen,” he said.
Captain Minarul Haque, zonal commander of Coast Guard's West Zone (Mongla), said, "We are continuing operations to check netting of spawn in Dublar Char, Hangsaraj, Andarmanik, Dhangmari, Batlurchar, Chacha Nangla, Kalir Char, Gera Chalaki, Chichkhali areas adjacent to the Sundarbans.
“During drives on February 17 and February 20, we arrested a fisherman on the Sandha river beside the Sundarbans with five lakh parshey spawn, seized one lakh metres of current nets and one lakh metres of other nets used for catching shrimp, hilsha and parshey, he added.
Mahamudul Hasan, divisional forest officer of East Sundarbans, said he is aware of the matter and trying to stop the illegal practice to save the aquatic environment of the Sundarbans.