Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Huge hilsa catch brings smile to fishermen

  • ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman
  • 19 August, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Fishermen are netting plenty of Hilsa at different river estuaries, including the Bay of Bengal as a large number of Hilsa started moving towards freshwater.

The fishing ban on mother and juvenile hilsa and different government initiatives have helped improve the production of Hilsa, experts said.

A beam of satisfaction is seen in the faces of thousands of fishermen and they are passing busy times in this fishing season. Fishermen of Chandpur, Barishal, Chittagong and other coastal areas are pocketing good profits, as a good number of Hilsa are being netted.

Dr M Anisur Rahman, senior scientific officer at Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) told the Daily Sun that a large number of Hilsa has started to swim toward freshwater from the sea since August, resulting in a huge catch of the delicious fish.

“Breeding success of Hilsa has increased to 51.2 per cent from 49 per cent last year,” he said, adding that fishermen will be netting a large number of Hilsa in September.

A huge quantity of hilsa will also be netted from different river estuaries when the full moon starts from August 22, he said. 

A mother Hilsa releases approximately 10-12 lakh eggs, if 50 per cent of the eggs could be fertilised, around 5-10 per cent juvenile hilsa will be produced.

The scientist expects that Hilsa production will increase to 5.75 lakh metric tonnes this year due to increasing breeding last year.

The production of Hilsa was 5.5 lakh tonnes in FY 2020-21 and 5.33 lakh tonnes in FY 2019-20.

However, the prices of hilsa are still high in the market.

A Hilsa weighing 1,000gram (1kg) was selling at Tk 1,300-1,400, Hilsa weighing 1200gram was selling at Tk 1,500, 1,500 gram at Tk 1,600 or more while a small Hilsa of 400-500 gram was selling at Tk 500, 600-700 gram at Tk 800, and 800-900 gram at Tk 1,100 per piece in the capital. 

The country’s Hilsa production has increased by around 150 per cent in the last 15 years due to the government’s different initiatives which include a temporal ban on fishing and livelihood support for the fishermen.

Hilsa production has increased from 199,032 tons in 2002-03 to 496,417 tons in 2016-17.

According to government data, production of the fish stood at 517,000 tons in 2017-18, up from 279,189 tons in 2006-07. In 2014-2015 the production was 387,211 tonnes.