Hilsa production has increased 66 percent over that in the last one decade as the government imposes ban on catching gravid Hilsa and juveniles.
And now the market of this delicious fish stands at Tk 25000 crore.
Earlier, experts had forecast that this delicious silver fish would disappear from the country, if the trend of catching mother Hilsa and juveniles continued.
The government has restricted netting mother Hilsa and juveniles twice a year. As per the revised law of 2011, the hilsa breeding was prohibited across the country including the coastal areas for 11 days, seven days after the new moon in the month of Ashwin, and three days before.
But now it has been extended to 15 days. Every year the ministry of fisheries and livestock imposes a 22-day ban from October 7, on catching, selling and transporting hilsa in a 7,000-km breeding ground to ensure the safe spawning of this popular fish during its peak breeding period.
Apart of this, for preserving the juveniles and creating adequate space for breeding, hilsa fishing is also restricted from March 1 to April 30.
Besides, officials of the concerned ministry, coast guards and other members of law enforcing agencies are also strictly monitoring the moves throughout the year.
According to the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry statistics, over the nine past years Hilsa production rose to 5 lakh tonnes from 2.98 lakh tonnes during 2008. The statistics further shows that during 2017-18 hilsa production will exceed 5 lakh tonnes and in 2018-19, the production will increase by 42 percent.
For rapid growth of fish resources especially Hilsa, the ministry has budgeted Tk 440.72 crore for its present 20 projects on fish. Mentionable among the 20 projects, the department of fisheries has Tk 341.28 crore for 13 projects, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute, Tk 34.49 crore for five projects, and Bangladesh Fishing Development Corporation, Tk 64.95 crore for two projects.
The country is now producing 70-75 percent Hilsa of the total production. This year the production of Hilsa will exceed five lakh tonnes. Gradually, this will increase to 42.77 lakh tonnes in the coming year, said fisheries and livestock minister Narayan Chandra Chanda.
Once hilsa represented only 12 percent of the total fish production but now the production has increased to 66 percent, he added.
Apart from this, to safeguard the fishermen during the restriction period, the government has also various projects. Till 20017, the government has identified 16.20 lakh fishermen and provided 14.20 lakh identity cards among them.
During the restriction, the government provides 7000 tonnes of food to these genuine fishermen and their families.
The government has earned, Tk 4287.64 crore by exporting 68305.68 tonnes of fish and fishery products during 2016-17.