Photos’ credit: Abu Sayed Talukder and Zahangir Alam (Bangladesh) Review: Abu Sayed Talukder and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
Hilsa is a small-size fish of hilsa fish whose scientific name is “Hilsa ilisha”; which is the synonym of “Tenualosa ilisha”. The earlier name “Hilsa ilisha” could be still in use because of its popularity and use over a long period of time. The species is highly popular and is the national fish in Bangladesh.
In order to conserve the stocks of hilsa against fishing violations, acts including the Protection and Conservation of Fish Act, 1950 have been issued to ban the fishery of the species during particular period as well as to limit the size to be fished; hilsa specimens under 23 cm is considered illegal and hence the fishing gears used to catch the species have been specified as any gill nets under 450 mm mesh size are forbidden in the fishery of hilsa.
In line with that, catching the broodstock of the species from the spawning grounds is forbidden during the peak of the spawning season in the full moon during September/October as the brood hilsa are protected for 22 days during the peak of the spawning season in October (before and after full moon).
In regard to the immature hilsa, known as “jatka”, its catch, distribution, transportation, marketing and selling is banned between November and May every year. Building awareness on the conservation of hilsa through video shows and broadcasts on television and radio take place. This goes side by side with the enforcement of law that ultimately target to stop catching, trading, and marketing of jatka whereas Department of fisheries is in charge with the help of Police or coast guard or Navy and Magistrate. One of the inserted photos shows the action taken in a given violation where the smaller hilsa (jatka) are seized and destroyed.