The first meeting of the Central Committee for the “Hilsa Conservation and Development Fund (HCDF)” was held on Monday, 7 September 2020, at the Conference room of the Bangladesh Department of Fisheries (DoF).
Present were the representatives from the Ministry of Fisheries and livestock, WorldFish Bangladesh, Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI), Department of Livestock Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Agricultural Extension, and Fishers' organizations. Kazi Shams Afroz, Director General of the Department Fisheries, had presided over the meeting.
The main topic of discussion was regarding the Hilsa Conservation and Development Fund (HCDF), which was set up in 2019 with seed money of Tk 3.5 crore by the USAID/ECOFISH project. This was jointly implemented by WorldFish Bangladesh and the Department of Fisheries.
During the meeting, the participants had discussed the modality of fund utilization and strategies to increase it to improve the socio-economic condition of the hilsa fishers and improve the biodiversity condition. One of the major outcomes of the meeting was to provide support to 300 Community Fish Guards (Hilsa Guards) for the governance of the hilsa management plan, which is crucial during the upcoming 22 brood hilsa fishing ban period.