Bangladesh minister says hilsa fish production 'wonder of the world'

Bangladesh Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim on Friday said the country’s production of the delectable hilsa fish, "once on the brink of extinction", has marked a significant rise to 550,000 tonnes due to appropriate measures undertaken by the government

Nov 06, 2021
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Bangladesh minister says hilsa fish production 'wonder of the world'

Bangladesh Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim on Friday said the country’s production of the delectable hilsa fish, "once on the brink of extinction", has marked a significant rise to 550,000 tonnes due to appropriate measures undertaken by the government. “Country’s overall hilsa production in 2020-21 fiscal reaches to over 550,000 tonnes as a result of strict measures implemented by the government,” he was quoted by Prothom Alo as saying. 

The minister made this remark while addressing a district-level seminar titled Development and Management of Hilsa resources project, jointly organised by the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and concerned Ilish resource project.

Terming the current hilsa production rhetorically as the "wonder of the world", the minister said, “Hilsa once reached on the brink of extinction...but government’s appropriate strategies have made the situation normal.”

The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has played a vital role in protecting the national fish as the fish contributes about 12 per cent of the total fish production and about 1.15 per cent of the GDP, he told the seminar as the chief guest.  He said the hilsa - whose numerous recipes are prized as gourmet dishes by Bengalis worldwide - meets nearly people's "60 per cent protein demand" and hence production has been raised up to six-fold in the last three decades.

 Rezaul said through aerial monitoring and other strict measures the government had saved the endangered species from overfishing, especially during the breeding season.

Hilsa sanctuary and laboratory also have been set up for increasing its production, he said, adding that “even legal actions are being taken against those who are trying to destroy this valuable resources.”

Rezaul said the Bangladesh government has launched a Hilsa Resources Development and Management Project.

He, however, said climate change, river water pollution and uncontrolled dredging most of the time caused an impediment to breed and habitats of the hilsa and that’s why the prized fish are mostly moving to other habitats.

About the size and quantity of the hilsa, the minister said “now the big size hilsas are available in the country compared to any time in the past. Even the quantity of the fishes is rising.”

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