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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Fishing not on, locals fear losing window to net hilsa

The Padma hilsa swims several kilometres upstream to spawn in freshwater around this time, and returns to salty water afterwards.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury |
Updated: October 20, 2019 1:27:10 pm
Fisherman Haider Ali Sheikh by the Padma. (Santanu Chowdhury)

Haidar Ali Sheikh, a fisherman from Sirachar village in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, said he had spent Rs 10,000 buying nets and equipment to catch hilsa in the Padma during the small, three-week window this month. But with fishing on Indian side of the river suspended following the October 17 incident in which a BSF head constable died in firing by BGB personnel, Ali said he is unlikely to make a profit on investments.

Like him, hundreds of fishermen who look to book profits during this hilsa season are staring at losses.

The Padma hilsa swims several kilometres upstream to spawn in freshwater around this time, and returns to salty water afterwards. Arun Mondal, who has been fishing hilsa in the Padma for over 45 years, said, “We get to catch this fish only once a year, but if fishing is stopped that opportunity will be gone.”

Simar Haque, who is in the fish business, said, “On a good day, a fisherman makes profit of around Rs 10,000, and it can go up to Rs 50,000 during the entire season lasting 22 days. Those who made investments are staring at heavy losses if more days go waste.”

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