This season has seen a scarcity of ilish in the mighty Padma but the river is not disappointing local fishermen
When Kalidas Halder threw his net into the mighty waters of Padma on Sunday night near Daulatdia ferry terminal No 7 at Rajbari’s Goalanda, he did not know what the dawn would bring.
After a night of disappointment, as the local fisherman reeled his net in at daybreak to his boat, he found a massive 16kg catla in the mesh to his surprise.
Ecstatic with the catch, Halder hustled to the wholesale fish market near Daulatdia ferry terminal No 5. There, the catla or carp fish -- scientific name Catla catla -- was weighed to be 16kg and bought by a local fish depot owner through an auction at Tk28,000 (Tk1,750 per kg).
As a happy Halder went home, Shahjahan Sheikh, the highest bidder and the proprietor of Shakil-Sohan Fish Depot, went on to sell the fish to a Dhaka-based industrialist at Tk30,400.
“It felt good making a profit by selling this fish,” said Sheikh, who made another such profitable deal a week ago.
Last Saturday, he had sold a 22kg Boal fish for Tk61,000 to another industrialist in Dhaka. This catfish was also caught similarly at dawn but in the estuary of Padma and Jamuna at Harirampur, Manikganj.
The man behind the net at that time was one Kaiyum Halder.
This season has seen a scarcity of ilish in the mighty Padma but the river is not disappointing its fishermen.
Over the past few months, local fishermen have been netting large fishes of different kinds, said Goalanda upazila FIsheries Officer Md Rezaul Sharif.
These freshwater fishes included Rui (another type of Carp), Bagarh, Chital (a type of knifefish), Boal (Helicopter Catfish) and Pangash (Yellowtail Catfish), he said.
Sharif said the fishermen generally use many varieties of locally-made fishing nets, including "Fashon," "Dashan," "Kouna," "Kochal" and fence nets, to catch them.
Fishermen who live in districts on both sides of Padma River have netted these massive fishes whose prices ranged from Tk20,000 to Tk200,000 over the past few weeks.
Such large fleshy delicacies have been satiating the Bengali taste buds with their fulfilling umami flavour for decades. All these fishes are widely consumed around the country, regardless of the season.
Thus, the fishermen and all those involved in the fishing industry return home with a smile after a big catch such as the 16kg Catla -- also known as the major South Asian carp.