Some locals noted that a ban on fishing mother ilish could help lower the prices for next season
Ilish is considered a delicacy and favorite fish dish among Bangali people. Presently, hundreds of fishermen in three unions under Madaripur district are harvesting mother ilish from the Padma River—leading to an abundance of the fish in local markets.
Ilish is selling well in Madaripur, but many customers have expressed their dissatisfaction overthe sale of mother fish.
Some locals opined that if the government had banned the fishing of mother ilish for a month or two this season, the number of fish could have increased significantly in the next season—which in turn could have helped lower the prices.
Visiting the district, the correspondent has found that fishermen from around 20 villages –under Bondorkhola, Kathalbari and Char Janajat unions – are busy harvesting ilish by the thousands.
These mother ilish are being sold in different wholesale markets in several districts—including Madaripur. Despite the abundance of supply, ilish prices are comparatively high. However, the price of Ilish fry is a relatively low.
Ilish weighing 1.3 to 1.4kg is being sold for around Tk1600-2000, 1kg for Tk1200-1500 and 500g for Tk700-800. Ilish fry is being sold for around Tk200-250.
Mehedi Hassan, a customer visiting the Iter Pool Bazar for Ilish, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Markets are well-stocked with fish, but prices are higher than last season.
“A government ban on harvesting mother Ilish could have helped increase their numbers in the next season, which would have helped lower the prices next year.”
Echoing the same opinion, retail fish seller Bachchu Khandakar, and wholesaler Didar Hossain, both admitted that local markets are being flooded with Ilish, and most of these fish are carrying eggs.
Local environmental organization Friends of Nature Executive Director Rajon Mahmud told the correspondent: “The government bans the fishing of mother ilish for around two weeks in October.
If the authorities had banned harvesting and selling of ilish and ilish fry for all of October, the number of fish could increase significantly in the next season. The prices would have gone down too.”
Shibchar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Imran Ahmed pointed out that the ilish spawning season has changed.
“The government ban of ilish fishing comes into effect in October. If the ban is implemented from September to October, it could tremendously benefit spawning season. I will speak with senior officials regarding this issue,” he added.
Madaripur district Fisheries Officer Md Abdus Sattar said: “The ban of ilish fishing comes into effect on the month of October every year. We have yet to receive a government notification to enforce the ban.
The Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute has the jurisdiction to decide when to implement this move.”