08 Feb 2023, 17:34

Action plan will help protect sharks, rays: minister


DHAKA, Feb 8, 2023 (BSS) - Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Shahab Uddin toady said the government-approved 'National Conservation Strategy and Plan of Action for Sharks and Rays in Bangladesh 2023-2033' will help check overfishing and catching of sharks and rays.

'Non-Detriment Findings' will play an important role in preventing the decline of the number of groups of endangered two shark and two ray species, he said. 

"Conservation of sharks and rays will be ensured by implementing action plans through better management, regular monitoring, law enforcement and stakeholders' involvement," the minister told a meeting at the Secretariat here. 

The ministry arranged the meeting for approval of 'Non-Detriment Findings' of groups of two shark species and two ray species and 'National Conservation Strategy and Plan of Action for Sharks and Rays in Bangladesh 2023-2033' prepared under Sufal project .

Shahab Uddin said sharks and rays are important to the health of the coastal people and marine ecosystems but overfishing and illegal international trading in their body parts are threatening their existence.
"Sharks and rays species, which are at high risk of extinction, are strictly protected by national laws. All law enforcement agencies must effectively enforce laws to protect these species. The support of Customs, Police, Border Guard, Navy, Coast Guard and Maritime Police is crucial to prevent the extinction of these species and stop the illegal wildlife trade," he said. 

The environment and forest minister said this strategic plan related to sharks and rays has been prepared through consultations with various agencies, departments, ministries, traders, communities and foreign consultants. 

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary Dr Farhina Ahmed, Additional Secretary (Development) Mizanul Hoque Chowdhury, Additional Secretary (Climate Change) Md Moniruzzaman, Additional Secretary (EPC) Md Mizanur Rahman, Chief Conservator of Forests Md Amir Hosain Chowdhury, Project Director of Sustainable Forestry and Livelihoods (SUFAL) Project Gobinda Roy and Senior Manager of Wildlife Conservation Society Elisabeth Fahrni Mansur were, among others, present.


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