Ilish prices in Chandpur fish markets are still high, despite the booming supply, complained a few customers
Huge amounts of Ilish netted from the Bay and the Meghna estuary have flooded the biggest wholesale fish market of the country at Chandpur Boro Station in the town.
During a visit at the market on Monday morning, this correspondent found a large number of fishing trawlers and pickup vans had arrived at the Fisheries Ghat carrying Ilish netted from the coastal areas of Bhola, Char Fashion, Ramgati, Swandwip and the adjacent areas.
More than a thousand workers and fish traders were seen busy handling Ilish at various fisheries in Chandpur.
Most of the fishermen prefer carrying their catches in pickup vans as it takes less time than carrying in boats. Another reason to avoid the waterways is that the fishermen have to pay tolls at different points to extortionists, said some fishermen.
Asked about the market condition, Rahman Shikdar, a tea stall owner, said: "We're now getting a greater number of customers because of big catches."
Ali Hossain, a thermal box trader, said: "We're getting more customers who want to send the fish to Dhaka and other places for their relatives."
With constant smiles on their faces, some labourers said they have been passing very busy time in handling Ilish as plenty of the delicious fish is being netted.
Fish trader Imam Hossain said everyday some 800 maunds of Ilish are being traded at Boro Station market currently.
"In the last couple of days, we've sent thousands of cartons of fish to different markets of the country, including Dhaka's Kawran Bazar, Abdullahpur, Bypailas well as Kishoreganj, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Jamalpur, Narayanganj and some other places of northern districts," he said.
lish prices in Chandpur fish markets are still high, despite the booming supply, said a few customers.
Al Amin, who went to Chandpur from Comilla to buy the fish said, “We thought that we’d get it at less price, but it’s really expensive.”
Dhaka resident Abu Tahir reiterated that he expected the fish to be cheaper, and added, “Since it’s really expensive, I bought only five kilograms, each kilo for Tk2,000.”
A worker at the fishing warehouse, Mofiz Uddin said, “Good quality fishes are expensive and the price is always high.”
Ilish weighing 200-500 grams are selling for Tk18,000-20,000 per maund. The ones weighing 700-800 grams are selling for Tk32,000 per maund, and the 1kg to 1200 grams Ilish costs Tk45,000-50,000 per maund, and when sold individually, costs up to Tk1,200 per kilogram. The price for per kilo of a 1.5 kg Ilish is Tk2,000.
“Local Ilish from Chandpur isn’t really much available. The ones that are available are quite expensive. Even a few days ago, I sold a two-kilogram fish at the rate of Tk130,000 per maund,” said Nadim Hossain, a fish trader.
Contacted, researcher D Anisur Rahman of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute, said: "As this year's fresh environment due to Covid-19 and ban on fishing jatka has been successful, we're hopeful of getting greater catches this time than that of the last year's."