Good catches of hilsa at long last
Thousands of fishermen in coastal areas of Cox's Bazar district are all smiles as a huge catches of popular fish hilsa is being netted in the Bay.
The Bakkhali River in the town sees a large number of trawlers carrying fish, much to the happiness of the fishermen who have been passing hard times for over a month.
During a visit to Nuniachhata fishery ghat, a wholesale fish market in Cox's Bazar town, this correspondent on Friday found over 50 trawlers waiting to sell hilsa.
Fish from large trawlers is being loaded into small ones for supply to Matsya Obotoron Kendra, the main fish landing station in the town.
After buying fish from there, the wholesalers are supplying it to different areas of the country including Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.
"We caught a good amount of hilsa from over 100 kilometres off the coast and it takes six to seven days to return after catching fish from the deep sea," said Kalu Sawdagar, who earned Tk 9 lakh after selling nine thousand pieces of hilsa fish.
Rahim Sawdagar and Salim Ullah are among many fish traders who earned a good amount of money by selling hilsa.
In Matsya Obotoron Kendra, it was found that each piece of hilsa weighing 500 to 800 grams, is selling for Tk 85 to 100 while it is selling for Tk 190 to Tk 210 a kg in the retail market.
Around 40 trucks loaded with hilsa are being transported to different places daily and the supply will increase in a couple of days, said Omar Kazi, a trader.
Nurul Islam, president of Fisheryghat Fish Traders Association, said around 80,000 fishermen of the area have passed tough times for over a month due to scarcity of hilsa but they are now happy with the amount of hilsa being netted in the deep sea.
"As hilsa was not seen in the sea for over a month, thousands of fishermen families could not celebrate the Eid. But now we are happy as huge fish is being caught. We hope the situation will continue throughout the month if there is no natural calamity," said fisherman Abdul Malek.
Cox's Bazar Boat Owners Association President Mujibur Rahman said around one lakh fishermen in six thousand trawlers of Teknaf, St Martin's, Moheshkhali and Kutubdia are now busy catching hilsa.
When these trawlers will return to the coast in a few days, the entire area will see abundance of hilsa and the price is likely to decrease too, he added.