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Good catches of hilsa in the Bay

Our Correspondent | April 03, 2018 00:00:00

COX'S BAZAR, Apr 02: Fishermen of the district are catching abundant hilsa from the Bay of Bengal. The fishing trawlers with huge amount of hilsa are arriving at Cox's Bazar fish landing centre in Nuniarchara, Teknaf and Moheshkhali.

According to Cox's Bazar fish landing centre and fishermen sources said that huge hilsa are being caught from the Bay of Bengal since the second week of last March. As a result the other trawlers which catch various fishes are also catching hilsa now.

At least 50 to 60 fishing trawlers are landing at different wholesale market of Cox's Bazar, Teknaf and Moheshkhali with massive hilsa everyday, sources said.

The landing centre employees said that at least 550 tonnes of hilsa were brought here in March last, which several times more than the previous year. Meanwhile, at least 20 tonnes of hilsa have been caught till March 25 of current year. If hilsa is caught in such amount it will break all previous records.

Local fishermen said that though they are netting more hilsa since January last most of those are small sized. Only 20 per cent hilsa were caught which weight 650 grams while the medium size hilsa weighting 300 to 400 grams and small size one weighting 150 to 250 grams are being netted more.

Because of excessive hilsa netting the price is somewhat low at the landing station. So the trawler owners are frustrated.

Mustafizur Rahman, owner of FB Bulbul-e Madina fishing trawler of Cox's Bazar town said that, "I have 16 fishermen in my trawler. They went to the Bay 10 days back and caught 1.5 tonnes of hilsa. I sold the hilsa at Tk 0.25 million only. I couldn't make profit".

Hilsa trader Mustaq Ahmed Sikder at the landing station said, "I do business here with two others jointly. We buy hilsa from the trawlers and send those to Chittagong and Dhaka. We bought Tk 0.5 million hilsa which we will sell at Tk 1.0 to 1.2 million in Dhaka," Mustaq said.

He said adding "We buy hilsa weighting 400 grams from the trawlers at Tk 300 per kg while those with lesser weight are bought at Tk 200 to Tk 250 per piece. The hilsa weighting 600 grams is sold at Tk 750 at wholesale rate".

Fisherman Abdul Malek of FB Selina fishing trawler of Moheshkhali said that during the hilsa season, armed pirates attack on fishermen increasing alarmingly. At least 10 trawlers came under pirates attack in last one month in the Bay. If steps are not taken, the fishermen will face insecure in the sea, Malek said.

Manager of Cox's Bazar Fish Landing Centre Md Shafiqul Islam said that hilsa catching in the Bay increased in recent days. With the increased netting of hilsa, the quantity of toll has also increased here, he said.

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