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Hilsa Back on Diners’ Menu

With yield being abundant, Hilsa is back on the diners’ menu bringing cup of joy for both fishermen communities and fish lovers.

Last week, a KG of Hilsa was being sold as high as Rs 800-1000 range in Paradip and adjoining marketplaces. The price tag had reached prohibitive proportions. Buying Hilsa was a luxury which the fish lovers could ill-afford. But the prices have made a nosedive as per the market trend in Paradip since past two days following higher catch. It has come down to buyers’ affordable range of Rs 100-150 a KG.       

“It’s good news for fishermen communities. The return from seasonal Hilsa fish is a bonus for them. Since past three years, hilsa catch was on a lower side. Those living on fishing wait for the hilsa season to earn the extra sum. But they were not able to reap additional benefits following low yield. We are hopeful of fishermen compensating the deficit of past years”, District fisheries officer, Mr. Gyan Ranjan Samal.

The 2-month-long fishing ban from April 15- June 15 during the breeding season has apparently led to the boost in the yield. The fishing ban was effectively implemented this year. The fishermen communities also acted upon the government directions and stayed away from fishing during the prohibition period. Now they are reaping benefits by way of substantial Hilsa catch, he said.  

The yield was negligible last week. But it has picked up since past three days. Earning has also multiplied consequent with increase in catch. We have skipped fishing today due to bad weather. From tomorrow onwards, we are going to resume hilsa fishing”, said a traditional marine fisherman, Ranjit Majumdar.     

“Hilsa is now being sold at Rs 150-100 a kg range depending on its size. The price is expected to stay on the lower side in the coming days. Now it is within the affordable range of middle class & lower middle class buyers”, said a local trader, Raghav Behera.

“We savour hilsa curry. Drop in price has given us the opportunity to buy hilsa”, said a local Himanshu Sekhar Dash.  

Hilsa is a sensitive fish species. And its breeding ground is mostly concentrated in the confluence of river and oceanic waters. After being bred in fresh water, the fish makes its way to seawater again by undertaking a return journey to confluence points.

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