The federal government has introduced that from 7 to 22 October, there shall be a ban on Hilsa fishing to stop overfishing in the course of the breeding season, which threatens to cut back the fish inhabitants for the remainder of the yr. Final yr too, there was a Hilsa ban in October, and an extended ban in Could for related causes – 65 days of no sea fishing in any respect. And whereas this coverage is smart in a rustic the place persons are obsessive about consuming fish all yr spherical, it has a detrimental impact on the livelihoods of fishermen – a inhabitants that’s often mired in poverty as a result of insecure incomes.
Actually, 75 p.c of fishermen are identified to endure additional financial hardship in the course of the fishing ban, which can be harsh sufficient for them to require meals help. And whereas the federal government gives meals help to individuals with fishermen’s playing cards, new analysis by the Manusher Jono Basis (MJF) has discovered that this help will not be solely insufficient, however is reaching the unsuitable fingers as a result of corruption and nepotism. This data was confirmed by leaders of fishermen’s associations at a latest press convention, who identified that those that by no means fish are on authorities help lists due to their ties with native political leaders, and even that those that have entry. Meals help typically does not get the promised quantity.
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These newest findings can now be added to the huge plethora of public initiatives that concentrate on weak individuals, however have did not make an impression as a result of inefficiency and poor implementation, and deliberate corruption and at worst an absence of accountability. Analysis exhibits that in the course of the ban final yr, fishermen had been deeply damage by meals insecurity, and solely 40-46 p.c acquired authorities meals help. Given this case, are the fishing ministry and related native authorities workplaces working collectively to make sure that this doesn’t occur once more this yr? Has he made any effort to replace the present listing of fishermen? Are they contemplating giving them different employment in the course of the ban? One of many elementary flaws of this and lots of different authorities insurance policies is that the voices of the individuals they’re meant to serve will not be being heard.
Leaders of fishermen’s unions have lengthy argued for honest distribution of meals help throughout seasonal restrictions, in addition to money incentives for a particular financial institution or credit score system in order that they don’t fall into debt traps by borrowing cash. The involved authorities ought to perceive how essential the position of fishermen is in guaranteeing meals manufacturing and safety within the nation. Their weaknesses can’t be thought-about whereas making the coverage. Somewhat, it must be the central concern, and their calls for must be heard and met with utmost promptness.