The national fish of Bangladesh - Hilsa is ready to be available from today (Tuesday) in the markets once again after a 22-day ban on the fish catch.
Earlier, the government had imposed a 22-day ban on hilsa catching from October 4 to 25, to allow the growth of juvenile hilsa to grow and become adults.
All the closed ice factories are set to reopen as the fishermen, wholesalers, and warehouse keepers prepare to resume their hilsa business.
The fishing grounds of Chandpur, Bhola and Munshiganj districts on the banks of Padma and Meghna have been vibrant for weaving nets and repairing trawlers.
Although the hilsa season is over, the curiosity of the fishermen does not come to an end this time, as a large number of hilsa have been caught during the winter over the last few years.
However, many of them have expressed frustration as at least 2,000 fishermen have been arrested in the last 22 days in the Hilsa preservation drive. At the same time, the naval police have sunk about a thousand fishing boats.
There were also reports of attacks on the naval police. More than two hundred cases were filed in these incidents and at least 15,000 kg of hilsa fish was seized during the operation.
Padma-Meghna district-upazila administration, coast guard, naval police, district fisheries and upazila fisheries have jointly or individually conducted a total of 373 operations so far, including 278 raids and 95 mobile courts.
About 10.8 million meters of nets were seized during the operation, the value of which is more than Tk 21.65 crore. A total of 218 fishermen from Chandpur Sadar, Matlab North and Haimchar were detained and sent to jail through mobile courts.
The district fisheries department filed 108 cases. Apart from this, Tk 1.9 million has been realized from the auction after monitoring warehouses, markets, and fishing terminals.
Chandpur District Fisheries Officer Golam Mehedi Hasan said the operation to protect adult hilsa ended after 12pm on Monday (October 25) as per government instructions. However, there is a ban on killing jatka (juvenile fish) using current nets and it will be in effect from November 1 to June 30, next year.
To increase the production of hilsa, the government has announced a ‘22-day hilsa breeding season’ in a year in all breeds of the country. During this period, catching, extracting, selling and marketing of hilsa are banned. In the meantime, fishermen are allotted VGF rice under the government's humanitarian food aid program.
This year, 11,119 metric tons of VGF rice have been allotted to 5,55,944 families engaged in fishing for survival while hilsa catching is banned. At that time, the Coast Guard and the Navy have been working to prevent the fishermen of the neighboring countries from fishing within the country's borders.