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Maritime boundary protection needed

Md Mahfuzur Rahman :
Published: 25 Oct 2014   10:03:59 PM   Saturday   ||   Updated: 25 Oct 2014   10:06:23 PM   Saturday

On Saturday a national newspaper of Bangladesh published a news report. The report intensively depicted that many foreign fishermen have been prowling the Maritime boundary areas of Bay of Bengal.


The major parts of the prowling are between West Sundarban of Munshiganj coast and Teknaf coast. The Indian, Sri Lankan, Myanmar and Thailand fishermen are freely fishing huge quantity of fishes from the deep sea of Bay of Bengal.


The report investigated that the foreign fishermen are not looting fishes from our territory but also they are not allowing our (Bangladeshi) fishermen to fish from our territory.


Fishermen and fishing professional leaders of Bangladesh alleged that if the illegal fishing by Indian, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lankan fishermen could stopped, they could supply delicious Hilsha fish (national fish) at the rate of Tk 100 per Kilogram to the countrymen.


They added that between October 5 and October 15, the fishing of Hilsha was stopped for government directives. After October 15 they again went to deep sea for fishing but they have faced barrier of foreign fisheries. They were ousted from sea areas. The allegation of fishermen was found reality when the Bangladesh Navy launched an eviction drive on the sea. On October 15, the Bangladesh Navy netted 14 Indian Fishermen and seized a trawler near Fairway coast of Sundarbans.


Two days later on October 17, the Bangladeshi Navy again arrested 20 Sri Lankan fishermen and seized four trawlers from Chittagong coast. On the following day, the Navy men arrested 14 Indian fishermen with a trawler from same spot of Bangladesh territory.


On October 22, Bangladesh navy could able to curb 13 Indian fishermen and seized a trawler.


Over all, the members of Bangladesh Navy could able to arrest 75 foreign fishermen along with 8 trawlers. They entered Bangladeshi territory illegally.


Allegation against those fishermen were not only fishing illegally on the Bay of Bengal territory but also beating up Bangladeshi fishermen and looting their nets and other assets. Though members of law enforcing agencies arrested them, lodged case against them on charge of illegal intrusion and were sent to jail. It is interesting that due to unknown reason on various pleas, they get released from jail. It is unprecedented that any Indian fishermen, who were arrested on those charges, could not be penalized In Bangladeshi jail.


On the other hand, when many Bangladeshi fishermen become victim of storm and tried to take shelter in Indian Territory, they were penalized and jailed for years in India. In this regard, Upkulio Matshajibi Kallayan Somity president Sheikh Idris Ali told, long since later the fishermen of India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand are looting our maritime assets as well as valuable fish by entering illegally on the Bay of Bengal coasts. He expressed deep gratefulness to Bangladesh Navy for their effective efforts to launch drive against foreign intruder.


Regarding this our speech is clear; we like to say that we should not forget that we have established our rights on the maritime boundary several months back. The price of that victory should not be fade away. For this reason, we need to keep our maritime boundary.


risingbd/ Dhaka/ October 25, 2014/Shontosh/Humayun Kabir