With the crossing of mid October and the advent of November, the Hilsa fish has made its gracious presence once again in abundance in the river Brahmaputra especially on both sides of Goalpara and Dhubri districts of Assam.
Though during the last three days of Durga puja celebration, less numbers of fisherman went to the river, however, those who went, the amount of catching Hilsa has made the poor fishermen ecstatic.
“We are happy that a favourable winter season has begun for us with the abundance of Hilsa in the river,” said Bahar Ali, a fisherman from Goalpara.
The position is such that within a short period of three days of net fishing, the prices in the market have a nosedive from Rs 800 per kg last week to Rs 300 on Saturday.
“Last week only I purchased one kg for Rs 800, but it has come deep down to Rs 300 today. This has given me a relief as my puja visiting guests are fond of this fish,” said a rather elated customer on Saturday in Goalpara .
Hilsa is mainly found in the tidal mouth of the Bay of Bengal where the Brahmaputra meets the sea. During the breeding season, the fish travels upstream for laying eggs as the sweet river water is suitable for the purpose.
Every year, a week in between October and November month, surplus hilsa fish becomes available in the river. During this time, tons of fish are caught in both the districts.
After the local market demand is met, it is supplied to the West Bengal, Tripura and other neighbouring states where mostly the Bengali people reside who love its delicacy.
Chayan Kumar Acharjee, district Fishery Officer, Dhubri on Saturday confirmed this year’s availability of this special fish, “It is true that the Hilsa fish has been largely caught these days in the Dhubri areas of Brahmaputra. But this is just the beginning, we are expecting much more compared to last year’s experience.”
The Dhubri district administration last year imposed a ban on catching young Hilsa fish measuring below 23 centimeter to stop wastage from over fishing. However there were no such restrictions in Goalpara, the northern part of Brahmaputra.