China Dowari: A fish trap raising alarm

The government's years of effort to protect aquatic life by banning the use 'current net' in the country's waterbodies will be in vain if the use 'China Dowari' fishtrap -- which is becoming more popular in Rangpur -- is also banned.

According to officials from the Department of Fisheries, the new trap is stronger and cheaper than the current net. It also has a finer net.

They also stated that even the smallest fish and other organisms will be affected by China Dowari's use in fishing.

Many fishers believe that this trap is becoming more popular because of its durability, affordability, and bigger catch.

This correspondent witnessed the rampant use of China Dowaris in the Teesta River during a recent visit to various areas in Gangachara Upazila, Rangpur.

Abdul Kuddus from Alaler Char, in the upazila said that he bought 60 feet from Bogura after hearing about the "specially-designed fishing trap". It catches fish of all sizes and is far more efficient than the 'current net".

Ayub Ali from the same area said that his catch was better since he bought a China Dowari trap for Tk 10,000. He also stated that the trap is easier to use.

Prof Tuhin Wadud (founder of 'Riverine people in Rangpur'), Bangla Department, Begum Rokeya University Rangpur, stated that the China Dowari traps fish all sizes.

It is being used primarily in the Teesta River in Rangpur region, where officials of the administration and law enforcers are still not aware of its detrimental impact on the fish population.

He warned that if the indiscriminate Chinese Dowari trap fishing continues during peak fishing season (between June and October), the Teesta fish population will be in sharp decline.

Chairman of Morneya Union Parishad Gangachara upazila Mosaddek Ali Azad said that he had never heard of the China Dowari trap, and that he would take the necessary steps to limit its use.

Deepa Rani Biswas (senior fisheries officer in upazila) said that she wasn't aware of such a dangerous fish trap.

She said that she would inform the higher authorities about its negative effects and would take appropriate measures according to their instructions.


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