Huge shoals of hilsa fish are being netted by fishermen in the southern districts and in the Padma and the Meghna rivers in Chandpur.
The prized catches in the peak season of the delicious hilsa are unloaded from the boats at Chandpur Fishery Ghat for supply to different areas in the country.
Traders say the price is low this season compared to the previous years as there is huge supply at Chandpur wholesale market.
A visit to the spot on Saturday showed that huge amounts of hilsa coming from Noakhali and different areas of Bhola, including Monpura, Dhalchar and Pathorghata, are being unloaded at the Fishery Ghat. Around 12 trawlers were seen unloading hilsa at the Ghat from 11:00am to 2:00pm.
Fisherman Anwar Hossain Bepari from Dhalchar said he brought about 150 maunds of hilsa in a trawler to Chandpur Fishery Ghat.
Chandpur Fishery Ghat Traders' Association President Mizanur Rahman Kalu Bhuiyan said on an average more than 2,000 maunds of hilsa are brought to the Ghat from the southern districts every day.
Around 300 to 400 maunds of hilsa also come from different points of the Padma and the Meghna rivers in Chandpur. About 75 percent of these fish weigh over 1kg each. These are sold for Tk 30,000 to Tk 32,000 per maund. Those weighing 700 grams to 800 grams sell for Tk 18,000 to Tk 20,000 a maund.
Kalu Bhuiyan said traders from all over the country, including Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Mymensingh, buy most of the fish.
A section of traders keep the fish in cold storages in Chandpur and Chittagong.
Wholesaler Manik Jamadar said about 150 traders of the Ghat are getting hilsa in abundance this year compared to the previous years. He said the fishermen and workers are happy with the good catches.
Ferdous Ahmed, who came from Dhaka to buy hilsa in the wholesale market, said he came twice here after getting information that a large number of fish is being caught. Badruddoza Babu and Dilip Banerjee who came from Dhaka for the first time this season said they cooked some hilsa in a nearby restaurant to taste the fresh fish after buying them from the Ghat.
Chief Scientific Officer of Chandpur Fisheries Research Institute Dr Anisur Rahman said a large number of hilsa is being netted this year compared to the previous years as a result of successful creation of sanctuaries and stopping the netting of jatka. More hilsa could come to this region from the Bay of Bengal as there was plenty of rain and the tide in the river was strong, said Dr Anisur, also a hilsa researcher.
He said there is chance that hilsa can be caught in this way for quite some more days. He said statistics available from the traders and the Directorate of Fisheries shows, hilsa production in the country has doubled during the last 12 years.