As fishing has resumed after a 22-day break, a large volume of freshwater fish, including pangas, is being netted in Padma and Meghna.
The ban on netting fish in open water sources in the hilsa producing region has led to an increase in the netting of freshwater fish such as chital, rita, katla, sheatfish, rohu, and mrigel.
A rise in freshwater fish production has resulted from conservation measures taken to conserve hilsa and ban all kinds of fishing in the hilsa sanctuary during the fishing ban, say fisheries officials and researchers.
Rivers in different parts of the country have been stocked with large pangas in recent days, including the Meghna and Padma Rivers in Barishal, Chandpur, Laxmipur, Bhola, Shariatpur and Patuakhali.
Dr Md. Jalilur Rahman, scientist of ECOFISH II activity of WorldFish Bangladesh told the Daily Sun that the ban on hilsa helps increase the production of other fishes as many other freshwater fishes including catfish also bread during the hilsa breading period.
"The 22-day ban on hilsa and the two-month ban in March and April has increased the stock of juvenile hilsa. During this time, many freshwater fish and catfish spawn," he said, adding that juvenile hilsa is also a good food source for many catfish.
This time, a good number of large pangas are being netted from the rivers.
Illegal fishing trap Chai is no longer used in the breeding grounds of pangas, including the Padma-Meghna junction in Chandpur and Shariatpur, he said.
Panga has almost disappeared, but this year a good number of large pangas are being netted, he said.
According to the Fisheries Act, catching Pangas below 12 inches (30 cm) is prohibited.
Tentulia, Bishkhali, Andharmanik, Meghna and the junction of Padma-Meghna are the roaming ground of pangas.
Amir Hossain Rari, a fisherman from Palerchar of Zajira in Shariatpur said they are netting plenty of pangas from Sunday.
“The average weight of the pangas being netted is 5 to 15 kg each. Many fishermen netted around 50-60 Pangas a day,” he said.
Manpura Sonarchar Pachim, Sonarchar Mahisa, Manpura Sonarchar, Manpura Badnarchar, Sukhchar, Chotochar, Nalarchar, Charalekjandar and Kajirbazar in Bhola and Nokhali districts, Haimchar, Chandpur Sadar, Chandpur Mohona, Amirabadghat, Matlab Uttar and Laxirchar are the nursery ground for pangas and catfish, according to WorldFish Bangladesh.
Majherchar Tularchar, Kalomegh Blockbazar, Boroitala, Gulbunia, Chaltabunia, Charkashem, Charkajol, Badnatali, Sonarchar, Kukri-Mukri, Andharchar, Dhalchar and Charbishawas are the breeding ground of catfish in Borguna, Patuakhali and Bhola.
Naria point, Surershar point, Ekhlaspur and Chandpur Mohona are the nursery ground of catfish in Shariatpur and Chandpur.