Shark weighing 150kg caught in net in Ctg

Abu Sufian

A shark weighing 150 kilograms was caught in a net off the coast of Anwara upazila in Chattogram on Saturday (9 December).

The nearly seven-feet long fish was brought to the Utan Majhir Ghat area of Khurda Gahira union, creating a stir among local residents that night.

Qayyum Majhi, a fisherman, reportedly set out for a fishing expedition in the Bay of Bengal with an engine-driven trawler on Saturday afternoon.

As the evening unfolded, the crew discovered a colossal shark entangled in the net.  Later that night,

the shark, touted as the largest catch of the season, was brought to Udan Majhir Ghat. Mohammad Hujjatul Islam, marine fisheries officer of Anwara, confirmed the matter.

“Though netting sharks is prohibited by the law, fishermen in the country catch and sell them in the market as people from different religions eat sharks,” he added. “We have no authority

to take action in connection with netting sharks. Only The Department of Environment can do so,” he said.

The Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act-2012, amended on September 22, 2021, categorises 52 species of sharks and rays as endangered.

Section 39 of the act mandates penalties for those found guilty of collecting and selling these animals,

including imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of 50 thousand taka, or both. Repeat offences attract even stiffer penalties.

Bangladesh boasts a diverse range of sharks, with 46 species belonging to 22 families recorded in its waters.

Despite a 36% risk of extinction faced by these vulnerable marine creatures, illegal shark poaching continues unabated.

Local sources from the Chattogram District Fisheries Department said the population of sharks in Bangladesh has significantly dwindled over the past 12 years.

Shark poaching has increased in the last three years, primarily driven by lucrative international markets in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, and China.

Commercially, shark meat, skin, and fins are highly sought after, leading to the overexploitation of these marine species.

The surge in mechanised, non-mechanised, and industrial trawlers in the Bay of Bengal is identified as the key factor contributing to overfishing, further exacerbating the decline in endangered fish species, including sharks.

Authorities are now faced with the urgent challenge of enforcing stricter measures to protect marine biodiversity and curb illegal shark poaching.

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