Fishery Ghat: A market unlike any other
This ghat consists of a total of four jetties, one of which is managed by Chattogram City Corporation and the others are under the maintenance of Chattogram Development Authority. The continuous loud bargaining on all sides bears proof of the lively trade.
From 4 to 9 every morning, different types of fish -- caught from the Bay of Bengal and other sources -- are brought to the port city's Karnaphuli ghat from wholesale depots. The business is the busiest during night times, taking the numbers to millions.
At the break of dawn, hundreds of massive trawlers and fishing ships emerge from the seas and rivers at the shores carrying their catches for the day. Each large trawler can carry about a tonne of fish. About 220 bazars and six warehouses are set to sell their fish every day.
On the side of the bank of Karnaphuli river, this colossal ghat upholds the biggest fish market for marine and native fish in the port area known as the Chattogram Fishery Ghat. Almost every district of the country imports fish of different categories from here on wholesale and starts their trading amongst the locals.
Founded by the Portuguese almost 200 years ago, this fishing ghat is now thriving in the heart of this city. Located in Lusai Kanya, at the mouth of the Rajkhali and on the bank of the Karnaphuli, it has been made its official location recently from the former location on Iqbal road in Pathar.
During a recent visit to the ever-bustling market, this correspondent met Moktar, who just got back from the deep sea after 11 days. "We were out catching fish on the deeper ends of the waters and brought them directly to the ghat to sell," he said.
Hardly there are any species of fish that aren't seen on the dock. Tuna, Coral, Lakkha, Hilsa, Koi, Datina, red snapper, Surma, cuttlefish, desi squid, rupchanda, shrimp, salmon, lobster cod, Poa, Laittya, knife fish, etc, are the most popular among the buyers,
Hilsa makes a festive entrance to the markets of the ghat during its peak season. The ghat also sees the busiest trade at this time of the year. Fish weighing even up to 200 kilos are brought to the market and sold either in whole or in pieces.
The ghat portrays a unique range of occupations. A means of unique livelihood is represented by this massive ghat of the port city. It's not only the fishers making a living out of this market but also the ice keepers, bag sellers, wood keepers, net repairers, leaf sellers, tea sellers, oarsmen and many others who depend on the ghat's fish market for their livelihood.
"This ghat consists of a total of four jetties, one of which is managed by Chattogram City Corporation and the others are under the maintenance of Chattogram Development Authority. The continuous loud bargaining on all sides bears proof of the lively trade," said Mohammad Ali Sawdagar, president of Sonali Jantrik Motsho Shilpo Shomobay Somiti Ltd.