22-day Ilish ban took effect on Sunday midnight as it is aimed at ensuring the safe spawning of the popular fish during its peak breeding period
Kitchen markets in Dhaka saw huge crowds of Ilishlovers on Sunday evening as they rushed to buy the delicious fish ahead of a 22-day ban on its catching, selling, hoarding and transporting.
Many of the customers, however, returned home empty as most of the sellers of the popular fish ran out of their stocks by 10pm due to its high demand and supply crunch.
According to some ilish dealers at Karwan Bazar, this season saw an increased price due to the shortage of supply and higher export volumes.
"The demand was very high, even well before the restriction period, due to the short supply," said Kamrul Hasan, a fish trader.
The government has given a go-ahead to 52 companies to export 2,080 tons of ilish to India by October 10 ahead of Durga Puja, the largest festival of the Hindu community.
The government had banned the ilish export to India in 2012 but it approved the export of 500 tons in 2019 and 475 tons of ilish in 2020.
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The 22-day ilish ban took effect on Sunday midnight as it is aimed at ensuring the safe spawning of the popular fish during its peak breeding period. The ban will remain in place till October 25.
Fisheries Department, upazila and district administrations, police and coast guard personnel will carry out regular drives to make sure that the ban is implemented strictly.
Aminul Islam, district fisheries officer of Laxmipur, told that there are around 52,000 fishermen in his district and 3,000 of them are registered.
They will get around 40kg of food aid as compensation during this restriction period, he said.
Meanwhile, the district administration was seen campaigning along riversides to make the fishermen aware of the importance of the government decision.
On Sunday, Raunak Mahmud, a secretary of the ministry of fisheries and livestock, said some 1,118.068 tons of VGF rice has been allocated for 555,944 fishermen-families in 36 districts where the ban on selling and fishing Ilish was be enforced.
According to Protection and Conservation of Fish Rules, 1985, fishermen not abiding by the ban can be punished with a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 2 years' rigorous imprisonment or be fined up to TK5,000.