BangladeshPost placeholder

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday called for making united efforts to conserve ‘jatka’ (premature hilsha) to increase precious hilsha production.
They made the call in separate messages issued on the eve of “Jatka Protection Week 2019” beginning today and will continue till March 22 with the theme of this year is ‘We will not use net, we will not catch jatka hilsha’.
In his message, the president urged all including Fisheries and Livestock Ministry, Fisheries Department, side by side concerned government and private institutions, public representatives, mass media and general people specially fishermen and fish traders to make united efforts for successful implementation of jatka protection week.
He said as part of scientific management, coordinated programme is being implemented nationally to protect jatka to ensure sustainable production of hilsha and as a result, the hilsha production has increased manifold in recent years.
Mentioning hilsha as the national fish, the president said hilsha is indispensable component among Bangalee delicious food items for long.
As a single species, hilsha has important contributions to the overall economy including rural employment, poverty alleviation and earnings of foreign exchanges, he added.
“The vast coastal and confluence areas in Bangladesh are the sanctuary of hilsha. Though this fish makes its reproduction naturally, a congenial atmosphere is essential for her perfect growth,” he said.
In this regard, the President said, the observance of jatka protection week is an effective measure to raise consciousness among all concerned for the protection of jatka.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all not to keep the campaign limited to only the week rather continue it during prohibition period of jatka catching to contribute to increase the production of national fish hilsha.
“Hilsha is our national fish. Taste, flavor and beauty of hilsha are connected with our culture and heritage. We have distinguished glory and identity all over the world for this fish,” she said.
The premier said hilsha fish is now a geographical indication (GI) product in the name of ‘Bangladesh Hilsha’, a dignified indicator for the country.
“Bangladesh is now self-reliant in fish production. Hilsha has the highest contributions as a single species,” she said.
She said in 2008-09, the country’s total hilsha production was 2.99 lakh metric tons while it stood at 5.17 metric tons in 2017-18. At present its market price is around Taka 20,000 crore and its contributions as a single species to the national gross domestic products (GDP) is around one percent, she added.
To ensure sustainable production of hilsha, catching of jatka and fishing of mother hilsha during breeding period have been prohibited, she said.
The prime minister said her government has been providing food facilities to fishermen and their alternative employments are being ensured during the prohibition period.
“We are continuing our efforts to ensure necessary effective monitoring system side by side taking up time-befitting and coordinated initiatives to protect jatka,” she said.
The prime minister said the incumbent government is determined to protect the national fish hilsha.
The president and the prime minister wished successes of all programmes marking the week.