Mother fish of different indigenous species have started releasing sample eggs in the Halda River in Chattogram, the lone natural fish breeding sanctuary in the world. Some delicious and popular species of fishes specially Ruhi, Katla, Mrigel and Kaliboush released sample eggs at several places including Garhduara and Mardasha, Mashuaghona and Nayahat areas in the river on Saturday full moon night.
However, the amount is not too much. These fishes usually release eggs between March and June in the Halda River situated over Hathazari and Raozan upazila. The amount of eggs will increase this year as the weather is expected to be favourable.
Last year till May 25, the fry-collectors collected over 20,500 kilogram of eggs. Over 800 fishermen in 500 small boats are waiting to collect eggs. They are hoping that if there is heavy rain with thunderstorms, mother fish can start releasing eggs in full swing in the river during high tide or low tide.
Authorities concerned must take necessary
steps to ensure safe breeding of mother fish
The amount of egg collection from the river and supply of fish fry is expected to be increased significantly this year following some steps taken at both public and private levels that include training of poor egg-collectors on modern fry-breeding process and awareness campaign to stop killing of mother fishes during peak season. We hope these measures will help increase the volume of fish stock in the river.
The river Halda is the only natural breeding ground in the world where sweet water species like these fishes release their eggs at a certain period of the monsoon. A 10-kilometre area, from Ramdas Munshirhat to Sattar canal, is considered to be the breeding ground of brood fish during peak breeding period. A record amount of 25,536 kg of eggs were found in Halda River in 2020 whereas, the number in 2019 was about 10 thousand kg.
As the illegal activity of fish hunters continues during the time of releasing eggs by mother fish in Halda, authorities concerned must intensify vigilance along the river bank. Unfortunately, despite monitoring and regular drives, a section of fishers are still casting illegal and harmful fishing nets in the river.We must protect the one and only natural fish breeding ground of the country. Authorities concerned must take necessary steps to ensure safe breeding of mother fish.
Besides, all kinds of assistance and supervision will also have to be provided by the local administration and fisheries department to ensure necessary facilities for the egg collectors.