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Bangladesh: Jatka fishermen mend ways, now guard fish population by Bilkis Irani April 08,2021   |  Source: Dhaka Tribune

Fishermen who previously caught ilish fry, called Jatka in Bangla, have renounced their previous ways and are trying to motivate others to follow suit. A total of 330 selected fishermen from 15 upazilas of 6 coastal districts, including Bhola, Barishal, Patuakhali, Chandpur, Laxmipur and Shariatpur, are working to save Jatka Ilish. Rechristened as community fish guards in 2016, their force is increasing in number each year. They were formed under the USAID-funded ECOFISH Project, jointly implemented by the Department of Fisheries and WorldFish. It is contributing significantly to protect the Jatka ilish during the sanctuary ban period, between March to April, and brood Ilish during the peak spawning season. An official of WorldFish told Dhaka Tribune that at first, there were only 20 community fish guards, but now it has reached 330. They get training on co-management activities of Jatka and brood Ilish (Ilish) safeguarding, Ilish conservation policy and fisheries law, importance of Ilish sanctuary, implementation of their duties and responsibilities, role of fisheries department and law enforcement agencies, and coordination & communication, he also said. They have also been provided with identity cards, trousers, towel, umbrella, apron, shoes, and flashlight from the project

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)