Government is exporting around 4,600 tons of ilish to India through 115 firms this year
The government has planned to implement a mega project worth Tk247 crore to increase availability of ilish or Hilsa, which will eventually help reduce its price.
Bangladesh produces the highest number of ilish in the world – more than 80%.
“The contribution of Hilsa in the country's GDP is over 1% and around 2 million people are now involved in Hilsa netting, processing and marketing,” Mahbubur Rahman, deputy director of Hilsa Resource Development Project, said on Tuesday, reports BSS.
He added that the government had taken a plan to implement 134 projects in country's 29 districts at a cost of Tk247 crore.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, ilish production jumped from 300,000 tons in 2008-09 to 500,000 tons in 2017-18.
In the last financial year, 550,000 tons of ilish were caught in the country, 66% of which was from the districts under Barisal division.
Mahbubur Rahman made the remarks as keynote speaker at a seminar, titled “Hilsa Resource Development Management Project”, held at the conference room of Fish Fries Development Farm at Gallyamary in Khulna.
Department of District Fisheries organized the seminar with Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate Md Moniruzzaman Talukder in the chair.
Khulna City Corporation Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque addressed the seminar as the chief guest. Director of Hilsa Resource Development Project Md Zia Haider Chowdhury was present as the special guest.
Ilish contributes to more than 12.09% of the country's fish production, the government says.
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The government imposes ban on hilsa netting two times a year – for two months in March-April and for three weeks in October to increase production.
October is the peak period when the marine fish swims against the tide to spawn in rivers. On the other hand, the hilsa fries go to the sea in March-April.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has started exporting around 4,600 tons of ilish to India through 115 firms after temporarily relaxing the ban on its export, on the occasion of Durga Puja – the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community.
Last year, some 1,475 tons of ilish were exported to India ahead of the Durga Puja.