Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim yesterday said it will be possible to produce additional six lakh tonnes of hilsa if jatka is properly conserved.
He made the remarks while addressing a workshop titled ‘Tolerable Extraction in Hilsa Resource Development and Jatka Conservation Management’ organised by Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council auditorium in the city’s Farmgate, marking Jatka Conservation Week 2022.
Speaking as the chief guest joining virtually from his Bailey Road official residence, Rezaul Karim said hilsa is the country’s most delicious fish certified internationally with geographical indication (GI).
He said Bangladesh is the highest hilsa producing country in the world. “If only jatka is preserved, we will be able to take the opportunity to extract additional six lakh metric tons of hilsa. That is why we all have to be careful in protecting jatka,” he said.
The fisheries minister said hilsa production was 2.98 tonnes in fiscal 2008-09 and it increased to 5.65 tonnes in fiscal 2020-21 due to the implementation of the government’s hilsa management strategy.
During the tenure of the present government, he said, the size of hilsa has become more balanced due to jatka and hilsa conservation and protection of hilsa sanctuaries.
Hilsa of different sizes are available in the market almost all the time, he said, adding that even hilsa are now found during winter.
Rezaul Karim said: “Because of timely and practical steps taken by the government, we have been able to produce huge amount of hilsa and even in winter season we have the opportunity to get hilsa”.