Ilish is soon to get the Geographical Indication (GI) product mark, making it the second heritage product from Bangladesh after the Jamdani sari.
A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
According to Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT), the government has finished all the procedure of certifying Illish as a GI product.
By next week, the trademark department is going to hand over the certificate to the Department of Fisheries who applied for the certification, said DPDT Registrar Md Sanowar Hossain.
According to the Geographical Indicative Products (Registration and Protection) Act 2013, if someone wants to claim the certified GI products as their own or if someone has any complaints against the decision, he/she has to make the complaint within two months of the gazette notification. Otherwise, the decision will be granted.
“Since there has been no complaints filed against Bangladesh claiming Illish as a GI product, we can safely say that it is we have will get the certification,” said Sanowar Hossain.
“We have 24 more applications from 15 different districts to certify products as GI, such as Fazli mango from Rajshahi, Chomchom from Tangail and Kancha Golla,” said the Trademark and Patents registrar.
The Patents, Design and Trademark office has issued a gazette notification on June 1 saying Illish is a Bangladeshi GI product, after analysing the application of the Department of Fisheries.
The objective of introducing the Geographical Indicative Products (Registration and Protection) Act 2013 was to protect the interest of producers by using a particular sign through registering.
The validity of a particular registered geographical indication product will remain for five years, open to re-registration.
Data from World Fish says that Bangladesh produces around 65% of the world’s Ilish supply.
The other major producers of Illish are India with a share of 15% and Myanmar, which produces around 10% of the total global supply of Illish.