Govt to take fresh project to increase Hilsa fish production
The government is going to take up a fresh project to increase production of Hilsa fish in the country.
Once implemented, people will get Hilsa in abundance all year around across the country, a senior official of the Department of Fisheries told the Daily Observer on Thursday.
Hilsa production has increased in the country compared to the recent past.
According to the department, the production of Hilsa in the country in 2018-19 was 5 lakh 15 thousand tonnes while it was 5 lakh 33 thousand tonnes in 2019-20.
At least sixty percent of Hilsa produced in the country comes from the southern region. In the 2017-18 fiscal, 5 lakh 17 thousand tonnes Hilsa was produced in the country.
The government with its fresh project now wants to make Hilsa fish available for common people, said the official.
The government planned to implement the laws related to catching Hilsa by protecting mother Hilsa and Jatkas to produce 6 lakh tonnes in the upcoming years, he added.
The estimated cost of the project is Tk 246.28 crore and it will be implemented by June 2024. The fund will come from the government exchequer, he said.
The Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) of the Planning Commission has already cleared the project and it is now waiting for the approval of the executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), the official added.
According to the project proposals, about 30,000 fishermen will be benefited from the alternative employments through the implementation of the project.
Around 10,000 fishermen will get fishing nets to catch fish and mass campaign will be conducted in selected Hilsa-prone areas in the country.
The implementing agency will make people aware of not catching Hilsa before time, the project paper said.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Hilsa contributes to one percent of the country's total gross domestic product (GDP) and 11 percent to the country's total fish production.
A total of half a million fishermen are directly involved in Hilsa catching. The livelihood of another 2 million people is involved in catching and selling this fish.
Meanwhile, Hilsa is available along the coasts of India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Iran and also some other countries of the world. However, the fish selects the Ganges basin of Bangladesh for breeding.