President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday urged all to keep up a sustained campaign for enhanced production of precious hilsha as they issued statements coinciding with the "jatka (premature hilsha) conservation week-2018", reports BSS.
They made the call in separate messages on the eve of "Jatka Preservation Week 2018" that will begin tomorrow. It will continue till March 2.
The theme of the week this year is "We will not catch jatka: Fishermen remain alive, Country smiles".
In his message, the President said national fish Hilsha is indispensably integrated with Bengali culture and heritage.
Besides, as a sole species, Hilsha fish has been making important contribution to employment generation, poverty alleviation, foreign exchange earnings and the overall economy side by side with meeting the people's demand for the delicious fish for decades, he added.
President Abdul Hamid said the protection of Jatka is a pragmatic initiative to increase production of Hilsha. He appreciated the non-government organizations, media, fishermen and the common people along with the government for taking part in this move.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all individuals and organizations concerned to come forward along with the government for preservation of the national fish.
"I am happy to know that 'Jatka Preservation Week 2018' is being observed across the country from February 24 to March 2," she said.
The Hilsha has been playing remarkable role in our national culture, economy, employment and fulfilling the protein demand since long, Sheikh Hasina said.
In 2008-09, country's total Hilsha production was 2,98,921 tonnes, it jumped to 4,96,417 tonnes in 2016-17, she said, adding that the Hilsha production rose to over 66 per cent during the last eight years.
The present government is implementing various scientific and social-friendly programmes to ensure sustainable production of Hilsha, the Premier said.
Under the programme, the government is giving 40-kg VGF food assistance monthly to 2,38,673 families during the ban period of jatka fishing and 3,56,723 families during the embargo imposed on mother hilsha fishing at the coastal regions.