Fish egg haul in Halda ‘not satisfactory’

Adverse weather, excessive salinity in water blamed; 800 egg collectors on 350 boats collect eggs this year

Staff Correspondent

28 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

CHATTOGRAM: Mother fishes released fertilised eggs in the river Halda, the country's lone natural fish spawning centre, in Hathazari and Raozan upazilas in the district on early Thursday.

However, the egg collectors, who were eagerly waiting for the moment, expressed dissatisfaction over the quantity of the collected egg this year.  They termed the quantity as poorer compared to the previous occasion.

Sources said major carp fishes like ‘Rui,’ ‘Katla,’ ‘Mrigel’ and ‘Kalbaush’ started releasing eggs at around 1:00am on Thursday after releasing sample eggs on early Wednesday.

The egg collectors collected eggs from different areas including Azimer Ghat, Ongkuria Ghona, Kagotiar Mukh, Garduara, Nayahat, Mchhua Ghona and Sattar Ghat of the river under the Raozan and Hathazari upazilas.

Some 800 egg collectors on around 350 boats collected eggs from the river till 10:00am on Thursday.

Asked about the quantity of the collected eggs, Chattogram district Fisheries Officer Farhana Luvly told the daily sun that the concerned ministry formed a five-member committee headed by Deputy Director Sharif Uddin to assess the amount of the collected eggs.

The committee members were working on it and they will send the information to the ministry for further course of action, said Farhana, also member secretary of the committee.

Asked about poorer amount of the collected egg, Halda Researchers and the Committee Member Professor Dr Manzoorul Kibria held adverse weather and excessive salinity in the water of the Halda responsible for the situation.

“There was no significant rainfall and hilly onrush, which are very important for releasing eggs by the mother fishes, in the months of April and May this year” he said.

Besides, salinity in the water also increased excessively following the tidal surge under the influence of the cyclonic storm ‘Yaas,’ said the professor of Chittagong University.

Elderly and experienced egg collector Kamal Uddin also put up the same reasons behind the situation.

He also expressed his dissatisfaction over the amount of the catch this year.

On the other hand, the egg collectors started activities for hatching fry from the eggs at four government hatcheries and 167 wells under the upazilas. The collectors will get one kg fry from 60 kg of egg, said sources.

Mentionable, the egg collectors collected a record quantity of 25,536 kilograms of egg last year against only seven kilograms of 2019. The quantity of egg was 22,680 kg in 2018 while 1,680 kg in 2017, 2,800 kg in 2015, 16,500 kg in 2014, 4,200 kg in 2013 and 21,240 kg in 2012.

It is learnt that during the months of Baishakh and Jaishtha (April and May), major carps start migrating from the Karnaphuli, Matamuhuri and Sangu rivers to the Halda, which was declared as ‘Bangabandhu Fisheries Heritage’ in December last year. 

In congenial weather, usually at the first shower of the monsoon, mother fish starts laying fertilised eggs at suitable places of the river. The fertilised eggs are released in the hatcheries and wells made along the banks of the river for hatching.