Allowing foreign vessels to be suicidal07 March 2017
The rights groups severely criticized a provision in the Draft Marine Fisheries Bill 2016 for allowing foreign vessels to fish in the Bangladesh territory with a license as it will be suicidal for Bangladesh's security and economy.
They organized a human chain and a rally held in front of the National Press Club on Monday to express their deep concern.
The rights leaders argued if foreign vessels were allowed to fish in Bangladesh's territorial waters, the country's marine resources would be under serious stress.
Against this backdrop, as many as 28 rights-based civil society platforms, farmers, fisheries and labour organisations demanded immediate scrapping of the provision in the Draft Bill.
"We demand amendment to the Draft Marine Fisheries Act 2016: Allowing of foreign fishing vessels in Bangladesh territory will be suicidal", was the title of the programme
According to International Law, the country is not bound to open its sea to foreign fishing vessels,
said Subal Sarkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity. "We don't have adequate fishing resources. The then undemocratic government passed the Marine Fisheries Ordinance in 1983 going license to foreign vessels," he told the rally.
Mihir Biswas, who represented Bangladesh Paribesh Banchao Andolon, pointed out that about half a million people are directly dependent on the Bay of Bengal. "They don't have mechanised boats for fishing. If the foreign vessels come, this marginalised community will suffer more," he said.
Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federtaion insisted that the government should give priority to the Bangladeshi people. "The marine resources are not enough to allow foreign fishing vessels to exploit".
EquityBD's Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said there is a conspiracy to foil the country's victory in the sea.