Jatka (hilsa less than 10 inches long) is being sold openly at different local markets of the district ahead of the Pahela Baishakh, ignoring the ongoing ban.
Besides, the price of the popular fish has also increased by two to four times than the previous years, both in wholesale and retail markers, especially due to a high demand during this time of the year.
While visiting New Market area in the town yesterday, this correspondent saw jatka being sold openly at both the wholesale and retail shops.
Selim Hawlader, a resident of College Road area, said “I went to New Market on Friday to buy some large size hilsa, but I found most of the hilsa in the market were less than eight inches long.”
One kilogram of jatka is being sold at Tk 400 to Tk 500 in the market and many of the consumers were buying it as there was no alternative, Selim said.
“People know about the ongoing ban on jatka netting. But they wonder how such illegal act could go on openly in the local markets,” said Abu Bakar Siddique of Telikhali area.
If netting and selling of jatka goes on unabated like this, our fish stock will face a huge shortage in near future, he said.
Authorities concerned should ensure strict vigilance and take necessary steps to stop netting and selling of jatka, in the greater interest of the people of the country, he suggested.
Usually there is always an increase in demand for hilsa ahead of Pahela Baishakh every year, a fish trader at the market Shahidul Islam said, adding that they have never faced any difficulty in selling jatka.
Galachipa Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Shah Mohammad Rafiqul Islam said though some dishonest fishermen are continuing the illegal act, they were trying their best to control it.
District Fisheries Officer (DFO) Mollah Emdadullah said he will ask all upazila level officials concerned to monitor local markets and take necessary steps in this regard.