Food lovers excited, Digha gets first batch of hilsa fish in this season

Food lovers excited, Digha gets first batch of hilsa fish in this season

Biswabrata Goswami

MIDNAPORE, 17 JUNE: The arrival of the hilsa season in the Bay of Bengal usually coincides with the onset of the south-west monsoon in the subcontinent. It is a moment every Bengali (worth their fish) awaits with bated breath.

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This time, it’s good news for them. The season’s first hilsa catch was reported in Digha on Wednesday with 40 trawlers returning with 500 kg of the fish. Though, large hilsa (weighing more than 1 kg) was not available, the fishermen expect that huge quantities of hilsa with large size would be available within weeks if the weather condition favours.

Easterly winds and light rain favours the hilsa, which is now continuing for the last few days. Though, fishing in the deep sea has been started from 15 June due to the government’s prohibition, a small number of trawlers have gone to the sea for fishing.

More fishermen from Digha and Diamond Harbour will venture soon and in coming days, more hilsa will arrive, said a fisherman in Digha.

Shyamsundar Das, secretary of Digha Fishermen and Fish Traders Association said, “Around 500 kg of hilsa has reached Digha. It is the first batch of hilsa catch in this season. Due to high demand, hilsa weighing 500 to 600 gm was sold at Rs 700 to Rs 800 in Digha fish market. We hope better hilsa will be available soon if it rains.”

Fear of corona infection led to strong opposition to sea fishing in the coastal fishing ports. As a result, fishing was stopped for 61 days on the instructions of the state government. That period ended on June 14. Fishing has started again from June 15. But the fish market of Digha estuary was closed due to fear of corona infection. Although the fishermen went to sea, there were problems in selling the fish. Besides, many people objected to going to sea for fear of infection. Nevertheless, some trawler owners agreed to go to sea. However, some of the fishermen made it clear that they were not willing to land the trawler.

Amid such tensions, the fishermen crossed the deep sea on 1 July to catch hilsa. The first hilsa of the season was in the trawler of those fishermen. Fishermen hope that better hilsa will be available if it rains.

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