Illegal fishing in the renowned Tanguar Haor, an internationally recognised ecological site, has been going on by groups using various illegal fishing nets, local sources said.
They use different types of nets, locally known as Current Jal, Kona Jal, Berh Jal for fishing from the huge waterbody, a recognised Ramsar site.
Such indiscriminate catching of fish and fry is destroying the traditional breeding points of various fishes. The groups, on motorised boats, are extracting fish from their rich breeding points, locals alleged.
They demand such damaging acts be stopped.
A number of fishers also said small groups are now using illegal nets just for catching fish of all kinds just for earning illegally, amid law enforcers' patrol often.
Even some of them are doing the wrong during daytime, using mechanised boats, while the others fish at night ignoring restrictions.
Sunamganj Zila Khudro Matsyajibi Samity President Ataur Rahman said illegal fishing on the whole of Tanguar Haor has become rampant recently. "Stop it immediately," he deplored, demanding legal measures against the use of illegal nets, too.
Locals witnessed such fishing by groups in waters spanning areas like Alamdair, Eralia, Goniakuri, Paknai river, Bheraberia and Shamsher haor--all within the vast Tanguar Haor zone.
However, none of the law-enforcing teams was seen in the areas of the vast waterbody. There is a police camp at nearby Tekerghat while some teams of Ansar and police were deployed for patrolling the Haor, in line with the administrative decisions.
On the other hand, many senior citizens said over a hundred boats of tourists do move around the vast Tanguar waters and they use loudspeakers almost every day, polluting the environment as a whole.
Deepwater fishes get panicked amid such huge unwanted acts on the waterbody. Indiscriminate netting of fish fry would surely create loss in fish production in the mother fishery.
Environment activist Kashmir Reza, president of the Poribesh O Haor Unnayan Sangstha, says: "There should be stern action against the illegal fishing for ensuring safe breeding of fishery resources in the vast Tanguar Haor, a well-known mother fishery."
BELA's Sylhet divisional Coordinator Shah Shaheda said a sustainable programme for protecting the Ramsar site is imperative. "The government should see the matter urgently to save the nationally important waterbody from the illegal plundering."
Contacted, Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Hossain said they often take steps against the illegal activities.
"Special drives would be launched against the lawbreakers for protecting the fish resources in Tanguar Haor," he assured.