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Protect jatka, get more hilsa: Minister

National Jatka Conservation Week 2022 to be observed from March 31 to April 6

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 31 March, 2022 12:00 AM
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Protect jatka, get more hilsa: Minister

Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim put emphasis on protection of Jatka and mother hilsha to increase production of this popular variety of fish.

If the production is increased, the price of hilsa will come within the affordability of all people, he said.

The minister was speaking at a press conference on “Jatka Conservation Week 2022” at the Bangladesh secretariat in Dhaka on Wednesday. He joined the event through virtual platform.

“If the ongoing programmes to protect Jatka and mother hilsa are properly implemented, hilsa will be available throughout the year,” SM Rezaul Karim said.

“I hope, then all the people of Bangladesh will be able to buy hilsa. The ministry is working tirelessly to this end,” he said.

The minister said the country would also be able to earn foreign currency by exporting hilsa after meeting local demand.

The government announced the National Jatka Conservation Week 2022 from March 31 to April 6 aiming to raise awareness about preserving of hilsa.

The week will be observed in 20 districts with the theme “Hilsa is our national fish, catching Jatka is destructive.”

“Due to the pandemic in the last two years, we have not been able to observe Jatka Conservation Week on a large scale. Jatka Conservation Week will be inaugurated in Louhojong Upazila in Munshiganj on March 31 this year and a boat rally will be held on the river Padma,” the minister said.

He said the law has been amended to stop the catch and trade of Jatka from November 1 to June 30 under the supervision of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, district administrations, Bangladesh Navy, Coast Guard, Police, RAB, Naval Police and the Department of Fisheries.

"By amending the existing law, the ban on Jatka catching has been extended to eight months. Ban on mother hilsa catching has been fixed for 22 days in October, the main breeding season for mother hilsa," he said.

The production of hilsa was 2.98 lakh tones in FY2008-09 while it increased to 5.65 lakh tones in FY2020-21, he said.

Various programmes were scheduled at central and district-upazila level during Jatka Conservation Week.

The programmes include press conferences, inaugural rallies, naval rallies and discussion events, distribution of poster-leaflets, sports, cultural events and discussion meetings, conducting mobile courts and campaign to protect Jatka.