Hilsa trade impeded due to inclement weather at sea

Shafiqul Islam
Published : 02:00, Sep 12, 2019 | Updated : 02:00, Sep 12, 2019

FILE PHOTOThe sea is wild and storm is raging over coastal areas and ports; therefore, fishermen are maintaining caution near the coast. Weather department says that this will go on for some days. The downside is that catching Hilsa has declined in rough weather. The affect is also being felt in the markets of Dhaka since fall in supply has triggered a price hike of the fish. Currently, each kg of Hilsa has seen a price rise of Tk. 150 to Tk. 200.
Director of the weather department, Md. Shamsuddin Ahmed, said: “Since there is a storm, fishermen have been asked to be near the coast until further notice.”
While danger signal number 3 has been lowered for Chattogram, Mongla and Pyra, the rivers in these areas still have intense force.
Hilsas have gone back to the sea and will come back when the rivers lose ferocity.
A fisehrmen says: “The bazaars in the capital are selling Hilsas caught from the sea but river Hilsas haven’t come as yet.”
Once the depression subsides, Hilsas will come to the rivers and then, fish carrying eggs will also be available, said the fisherman.
At the moment, a Hilsa weighing 1 to 1.5 kg is selling between Tk. 1200 to Tk. 1400, which was Tk. 1000 or Tk. 1150 a week earlier.
Sellers believe that even if Hilsa catching starts at sea, the price will not fall because from 9 October till 31 October, there will be a moratorium on Hilsa catching.
That period is the spawning period and the ban was imposed by the government to facilitate breeding, said state minister for fisheries and livestock, Ashraf Ali Khan Khosru.
He said: “The contribution of Hilsa to the GDP is 1 percent and we want to raise it; in the last few years, we have maintained a production of 5 lakh plus tonnes and want to increase it further.”
Fishermen who will not be able to catch fish during the restriction period will be provided food support, said the minister.
“Every fisherman with a government card will get 40 kg of rice per month but legal steps will be taken against those who flout the moratorium.”