Implementation of nationwide hilsa fishing bans

Each year there is a nationwide ban on catching, selling, transporting, marketing or possessing juvenile hilsa fish from 1st of November – 30thJune, 2-3 months complete ban on all kind of fishing including juvenile hilsa target species in 5 sanctuary areas (river stretches) in the major hilsa nursery ground and an additional short ban of 15 days in September/October at four hilsa spawning locations. This is to allow for protection of hilsa fish stock and uninterrupted spawning. Boat rallies are used to raise awareness and support for the fishing bans, as well as mass media, leaflets and posters explaining the importance of hilsa conservation.


Collecte de données de base et suivi des données et connaissances
Mise en application et poursuites
Cadre juridique et politique, plaidoyer en faveur des politiques
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Facteurs de réussite

The central government must have the will and resources to be able to introduce a nationwide scheme such as this – in Bangladesh there exists a raft of acts providing the legal framework to support hilsa fishery management 

  • For the fishing ban to be effectively enforced, there must be good coordination between any central government bodies with jurisdiction over fisheries
  • Good quality of ecological baseline data on spawning is an essential requirement for developing an appropriate fishing ban schedule

Enseignements tirés

Illegal juvenile hilsa fishing hasincreased since 2011; a major reason for this is the lack of resources available to support ban enforcement operations at night. Corruption (bribery) also hindered ban enforcement. Such issues damage the perceived legitimacy of the entire fisheries management scheme

  • Decentralisation and devolvement of management and magistracy powers could potentially alleviate such issues
  • Lack of equipment and supplies, such as boats and food, inhibit the capacity of staff to carry out enforcement activities even during the day
  • There is a sense that some of the costs and benefits of the fisheries management plan are not distributed fairly: for example, it is perceived that fishers in bordering countries benefit from the increase in fish stock that result from fishing bans that impact only Bangladeshi fishers

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