Monday 6 July 2020.Time-
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Exclusive economic zone in Bay of Bengal okayed

PMDhaka, 29 July, Abnews : The cabinet today approved a proposal for increasing the number of trawlers in the exclusive economic zone of the Bay of Bengal aimed at smooth, sustainable and tolerable extraction of sea fish resources. The approval was given at a regular meeting of the cabinet held at the Prime Minister’s Office with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hussian Bhuiyan briefed reporters. He said the cabinet after a detailed discussion endorsed the proposal put up by the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry and gave some directives to implement the proposal.

The cabinet secretary said there are three tiers for extracting fish resources in the Bay of Bengal. These are: up to 40 meters from the coastline, 40 meters to 200 meters and up to exclusive economic zone from the 200 meters. He said 43,000 mechanized and non-mechanized trawlers are now being operated up to 40 meters from the coastline of the Bay of Bengal to extract fish resources, while 299 trawlers are being run in the last two tiers comprising 32,400 square kilometers.

Of the 299 trawlers being operated in the two tiers, he said, some are being run following the approval of the government and some are being operated following the directives of the High Court. In this connection, Bhuiyan mentioned that 5,46,333 MT fishes were extracted from the Bay of Bengal in 2010-11 fiscal and of them, small boats caught 91 percent of the fish.

The cabinet secretary said the meeting okayed a proposal for increasing the number of trawlers in the second and third tiers. He said 25 more licenses–15 for mid water trawlers and 10 for long liner trawlers–would be given for extracting fish in the Bay of Bengal. He said bottom trawling would be replaced by the mid-water trawling as it (bottom trawling) is harmful to sea fish as well as environment. He, however, said it would not be applicable for shrimp catching.

Bhuiyan said licenses of those who are not operating trawlers for extraction of fish in the Bay of Bengal will be cancelled. He, however, said prior to this, they would be given notice by fixing a logical timeframe. He said the cabinet directed the concerned ministry to formulate a detailed and updated policy on extraction of fish in the Bay of Bengal by removing inconsistencies and loopholes in the existing policy.

Bhuiyan said the cabinet was apprised of the participation of Bangladesh delegation led by Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni in Bangladesh’s second Universal Periodic Review-UPR at the UN Human Rights Council held in Geneva from April 29 to May 2. At the review meeting, 196 suggestions on different issues were placed of which 134 were accepted by Bangladesh while the remaining including suggestions on cancellation of the death penalty and the approval of homosexual relations were rejected instantly by Bangladesh.

The cabinet was also informed about the participation of a Bangladesh delegation led by Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni in the fifth Ministerial-level Bali Process Meeting on preventing human trafficking, illegal immigration, refugees and inter-state crimes held in Indonesia from April 1-2 and participation of a Bangladesh delegation in the 39th meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held in London on April 26.

Besides, the council of ministers was also informed about the visits of Bangladesh delegations to Kuwait on June 18 and Saudi Arabia June 19-22. The meeting was also informed about the consular activities of Bangladesh mission in Saudi Arabia following the general amnesty declared in 2013 by the Saudi government. Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while concerned secretaries were present.



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