Hilsa catching starts at midnight in sea
Published : Friday, 23 July, 2021 at 8:57 PM Count : 352
Fishermen are taking preparations with their nets for catching Hilsa fish in the Bay of Bengal and rivers adjacent to Sundarbans as an embargo on catching the popular fish is going to end on Friday (July 23) midnight.
They will be able to catch Hilsa in the rivers and sea freely until the last week of September next.
The next two and a half months will be peak season for catching Hilsa. Extensive preparations are now taking place at the fish arats (wholesale fish sale centres) to take full advantage of this limited time though the peak season of Hilsa unofficially started from July 1.
Sources at the coastal regions said many fishermen did not wait for the end of ban. A large number of fishermen sailed to the deep sea over a week ago to catch Hilsa with the illegal consent of the local administration.
Officials at the Department of Fisheries said thousands of fishermen of the coastal districts are taking preparations to go to the Bay of Bengal to catch Hilsa after the long ban for 65 days that began on May 20.
The government imposed a ban on catching, selling, hoarding and transportation of Hilsa in the Bay of Bengal and different rivers for 65 days to boost Hilsa production through protection of the mother fish during its peak breeding season.
Officials at the Fisheries Department, Bangladesh Navy, Coast Guard, district and upazila administrations, police and Rapid Action Battalion conducted drives to prevent Hilsa fishing during the period. Executive magistrates conducted mobile courts and punished a number of fishermen who violated the ban.
The fishermen were seen readying gill nets, boats and trawlers in the country's southern districts to go to rivers from Friday morning. They were also preparing their essentials to load those to the boats and trawlers as they have to pass days in the deep sea during the fishing season, they said.
Divisional deputy director of the Department of Fisheries Md Anisur Rahman said the 65-day ban was imposed on May 20 last to catch all kinds of fish in the deep sea, which will end on Friday midnight. The next one month's ban will be imposed at the end of September when the breeding season of Hilsa will start. So, fishermen will be able to catch fish without any restriction over the next two and a half months. These two and a half months are also regarded the peak season of Hilsa fish.
Dr Bimal Chandra Das, fisheries officer (Hilsa) at Barishal office of the Department of Fisheries, said when the water starts rising in the rivers during the monsoon, thousands of Hilsa with eggs inside their wombs swim from the Bay of Bengal to the rivers to spawn. At that time, they are caught in the nets of fishermen.
He said rainfall was somewhat higher this year compared to the last year. However, adequate rain has not fallen yet for the arrival of Hilsa towards the rivers leaving the Bay of Bengal. As a result, fishermen are still receiving less quantity of Hilsa in the rivers.
Dr Bimal Chandra Das also said waters in the rivers would rise on Friday owing to Purnima. Rains have also been taking place due to the low pressure created over the Bay of Bengal. Because of these reasons, there is a possibility of arrival of thousands of Hilsa to the rivers from the sea after several days.