A total of 3,522 fishermen families of four upazilas in Gaibandha district got 70.44 tonnes of rice as food assistance from the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock on Tuesday so that they can pass Hilsa ban period without food crisis.
According to sources the government imposed a 22-day ban on the netting, selling, marketing, importing, transporting and exchanging Hilsa across the country that came into effect from zero hour of October 09.
The aim of the restriction is to ensure safe spawning, protect the breeding environment and shelter the mother Hilsa from any disturbance from October 09 to 30, sources said.
As the fishermen of Sundarganj, Gaibandha Sadar, Fulchhari and Shaghata upazilas would remain refrained from catching the Hilsa fishes in the river of Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Teesta here from October 09 to 30, the ministry allocated rice for the poor fishermen here to help pass their days without food crisis.
Among the total, some 900 families were selected from Shaghata upazila, 1000 from Fulchhari upazila, 822 from Gaibandha Sadar upazila and 800 from Sundarganj upazila, said an official.
An inaugural ceremony on food assistance distribution activity to the fishermen organised by Sadar upazila administration and department of fisheries was held on the premises of Kamarjani union parishad of the upazila in the district on Tuesday afternoon.
Deputy Commissioner Abdul Matin addressed the function as the chief guest and district fisheries officer Abdud Dayan Dulu and union parishad chairman Abdus Salam Zakir was present at the event as the special guests.
Presided over by UNO Uttam Kumar Roy, the function was also addressed, among others, by journalist Sarker M. Shahiduzzaman, local social worker Saddam Hossain Pabon and fishermen representative Sekendar Ali.
DC Abdul Matin in his speeches said he wrote an official letter to the Ministry to allocate rice as food assistance for the registered fishermen here to pass their days during the Hilsha ban period.
In response, the ministry allocated a total of 70.44 tonnes of rice fo 3,522 fishermen of the upazilas of the district for the first time, the DC added.
The DC also asked the fishermen not to catch fishes in the rivers here during the ban period to help increase the production of the Hilsa fishes in the country and sought whole hearted cooperation of all to make the ban a grand success.
Earlier, DFO Abdud Dayan Dulu in his speeches elaborately described about the punishment of the violators if they catch mother Hilsa fishes in the rivers during the ban period.
Later, DC Abdul Matin formally distributed the rice as food assistance to 350 fishermen of the union as the chief guest. Each of the fishermen got 20 kgs of rice.
A large number of people including fishermen, fish traders, public representatives, local elite and journalists were present on the occasion.