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1 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Hilsas galore in bazaars

OUR CORRESPONDENT, Chandpur
Hilsas galore in bazaars

Delicious hilsas are abundantly available in all the haats and bazaars of Chandpur district and in the district’s other seven Upazilas, bringing cheer to hilsa lovers.  But most (90 per cent) of the hilsas at the Chandpur Fish Ghat at Boro Station are of 500/600 gram size and heavy with eggs, said fish trader Mofazzol Bepary, 65, with 50 years of experience. Only 10 per cent are big weighing between 800 and 1400 grams. He said the fishes are gravid with eggs.

 The 500/600 gram hilsas were selling at Tk 18,000 per maund.  All these hilsas were caught in the coastal waters areas of Bhola, Char Fassion, Ramgati, Sandwip, Hatiya, and the adjacent areas. On Thursday, about 2,000 maunds of hilsas were brought to Chandpur by nine trawlers and eights pick-up vans. Vans loaded with packs of 30–32 maunds of hilsas can be brought to Chandpur in less than six hours from Hatiya, said the drivers.

 They said they faced problems on the way such as paying toll money at various places.

 Hilsas weighing a kilogram were selling for Tk 1,000, those weighing 1.5 kg cost Tk 1300 per kg. A 2 kg hilsa was going for Tk 2,200–2300 per kg, said Mahmud a young trader.

 Makbul said he would sell a 2 kg hilsa at Tk 2,500 per kg.

 When this correspondent visited the Chandpur Fish Ghat on Thursday, afternoon, the entire bazaar appeared to be flooded with hilshas.

 About 1,000 workers at the Railway Boro Station Fish Ghat and over 100 fish merchants and traders were trying to cope with the haul amidst the din and bustle of the market place.

 Middle-level fish traders with smile writ large of their faces were seen arriving at the fish ghat with their boats and trawlers and pick-ups laden with hilsa from the coastal districts of Bhola, Hatiya, Charfasion, Ramgati, Noakhali, and Sandwip.

 Mansur, Delwar, Hamid, Nurul Islam, all of them packing workers and day labourers, told this correspondent, “For the last few days, we are busy from morning till night packing and loading the trucks bound for Karwan Bazar, Uttara, Abdullahpur, Azampur, Bi-pail and other distant places like Kishoreganj , Jamalpur and Mymensing, Sylhet, Habiganj and Srimongol.

 Over 2,000 maunds of hilsas had been brought to this fish ghat till 3 pm on Thursday, fish merchants and traders estimated. Same views were echoed by veteran fish traders Mofazzol Bepary and Nurul Islam Bokaul.

 The District Fish Merchants’ Association ex-President Mizanur Rahman Kalu Bhuiyan and another trader, Roni Bhuyan, made a similar estimate.  Owing to the big haul, the fish ghat was humming with frenetic activity with unloading and loading work progressing at a fast pace. Hilsas are also abundantly available at the riverside depots and haats at Ananda Bazar, Horinghata, Haimchar, and Katakhali bazaar.

 The news of the huge haul and falling prices, have drawn hilsa lovers from distant places to this big bazaar. Shakhawat, Mohmmad Ali and Mamun from Kochua Upazila bought 10 kg of hilsa.  CID Inspector Chandpur Quamruzzaman also bought fresh hilsa for his relatives in Dhaka. Prof Soniya Rahman of Victoria University, Dhaka along with her husband came to this fish ghat   from Dhaka to buy fresh hilshas.

 She told this correspondent that she often came here from the capital. She would go back by another launch after an hour after buying hilsa and other fishes. She does this often because the purchases and the river journey gave her immense pleasure.

 ‘Elish female fakirs’ are also seen crowding the ghat to get ‘poorer quality and leavings/rejected hilsas.  Thanks to the huge catch, all the fish markets in the town like Pal Bazar, Natun Bazar, Puran Bazar,   Bow Bazar, Baburhat  Bazaar, Wireless bazaar, Biponi Bagh Bazaar, Shologhar areas are full of the hilsa fish.

 Some young men are selling the fish like hawkers, going from door to door, offering it cheap. The small sized hilsa is selling at Tk 200/250 per kg. Fresh gravid hilsa of 500 gm is selling sells at Tk 400 per kg in the hats and bazaars.

Contacted, Fisheries Research Institute, Chandpur’s Hilsha Fish Researcher Dr Anisur Rahman has told this correspondent, “As the ban period on netting jatka was successful, this year, we are optimistic of getting a better harvest of hilsas than what we got last year.” He, however, pointed out that “mother hilas are generally less tasty because they are pregnant”.

“It will take some more days to get delicious hilsas without eggs or only a bit og eggs,” he added. Till then, he urged hilsa lovers to wait with patience.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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