A 65-day ban on fishing in the coastal waters was lifted on July 23
Markets of Khulna are being overrun with national fish ilish caught from the bay, since the 65-day ban on fishing in the coastal waters was lifted on July 23. Not only the markets - the resulting glut of ilish means the maachh er raja (king of fishes) is even being sold in vans in the alleyways of Khulna at a cheap price.
Ilish is now being caught in shallow seas, the Andharmanik estuary, the Ramnabat estuary, and the Old Gourango estuary alongside different rivers of Barisal.
Fishermen are bringing these fish from the sea to different fishing grounds of Khulna by trawlers. Some are also bringing them by truck to the wholesale market in Khulna.
Most of the fish are coming to the KCC (Khulna City Corporation) Rupsha Wholesale Fish Market.
This year, schools of ilish could not come to the river due to numerous submerged chars and have returned to the sea after roaming in the estuaries.
Traders said even though less ilish is found in the river, they are being caught in large numbers in the sea. These are slightly smaller in size.
Mehedi, a retailer at Rupsha New Market, said: "Lots of ilish are coming to the market hence prices have also come down. The usual rate of Tk1,200-1,300 per kg has gone down to Tk900-1,000 per kg.”
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Abu Musa, the proprietor of Madina Fish Traders at KCC Rupsha Wholesale Fish Warehouse, said more ilish is coming to the market this year than the last, and the price is also lower.
He said the price of ilish caught in the sea is Tk300-350 per kg, where each fish weighs 300-400 grams. “The price of each kg of 500 gram ilish is Tk400-450, while the price of a single ilish weighing one kg is Tk700-800.”
On the other hand, 300-400 gram size of ilish caught in rivers cost Tk350-450 per kg, and the price of one kg of 500 gram size is Tk450-550.
“Each river ilish weighing one kg costs Tk800-900. The price of river ilish is a bit higher as it tastes better than the ones caught in the sea,” Musa added.
Moylapota evening market Fish Traders’ Association President Ashek said more fish have been coming since Eid-ul-Azha. “At present, most fish are from the sea and are slightly smaller in size. But fish caught in the river are also coming.”
Loads of fish are coming to the markets of Khulna every day by fishing boat. Buyers are happy with the low price which will go down further.