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Ilish production increases by 66% in the last 9 years

  • Published at 05:08 pm November 6th, 2018
web-Ilish fish
FILE PHOTO: Ilish production jumped from 300,000 tons in 2008-09 to 500,000 tons in 2017-18. In 2019, Ilish production rose to 533,000 tons Dhaka Tribune

More than 1.15% of Bangladesh’s GDP derives from ilish production

In the last nine years, ilish production has increased by 66%. From 298,000 metric tons of Ilish produced in the Fiscal Year (FY)2008-09, the number has increased to almost 500,000 metric tons in the FY17-18, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

Ministry sources furthered that almost 31% of the country's population are directly involved in the fisheries sector, while 11% indirectly depend on this sector for their livelihood.

Nearly 12% of total fish production comprises of ilish. More than 1.15% of the country's GDP derives from ilish production. For all these reasons, the Patent, Design and Trademark Department has provided ilish with GI registration after going through tests and legal steps.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda said: "Almost 70-75% of global ilish production comes from Bangladesh. Just as the production of ilish will surpass 500,000 metric tons by the end of 2018, total fish production will increase to 4,277,000 tons.

"Now that ilish has received GI registration, we will get all sorts of local and international commercial advantages from exporting high quality ilish," the minister added. 

The current value of ilish in FY17-18 stands at Tk25,000 cr.

To preserve ilish production, from FY04-05 to FY07-08, due to the ban imposed on "jatka" (ilish fry less than 25cm long) fishing, the government provided 10,000kg of food to support the families of fishermen. In the current fiscal year, 40,000kg of food is being supplied to their families. 

In FY07-08, 145,335 families of fishermen were included in the food support program; now, the number of those included has increased to 248,678 families. Before Awami League came to power, the allotted amount of food supplies in FY08-09 was only 6,906 metric tons—which rose to 274,545 metric tons in the nine years since Awami League came to power.

Sources from the ministry clarified that, to increase ilish production, the government has taken steps such as the identification and registration of 1,620,000 fishermen .

In FY16-17, Tk4,287.64cr was earned in foreign currencies through the export of 6,830,568 metric tons of ilish—a marked difference from the Tk3,243.41cr earned in FY08-09.

The government has banned the: catching, selling, hoarding, and transporting of "jatka" twice a year, with the purpose of increasing ilish production.

This year, an 8-month long ban was imposed from November 1, 2018 to June 30, 18, across 7,000 square kilometers of coastal, estuarial, and riverine areas to ensure free breeding of ilish, with the intention to produce 500,000 metric tons of the fish. 

Ilish production through the years

Fiscal Year (FY)
    Ilish production (metric tons)
(more than) 400,000
(estimated to be) 500,000 

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