Soaring prices prevent hilsa from entering kitchens in Khulna

Hilsa fish are seen in a basket in Azimpur in the capital Dhaka on Friday. — Foto Focusbangla

As for hilsa, the general rule is that you pay less in the rainy season than in the winter.

But this year, even the incessant rains failed to cool the prices of the monsoon delicacy, at least in Khulna. In short, the pleasure of the gourmet is no longer within the reach of ordinary mortals.

Authorities blame the sky-high hilsa prices on skyrocketing fuel prices and hoarding by unscrupulous fish traders.

“Fishermen are reeling from soaring prices for the diesel they need to run their trawlers. Also, those who store the fish in the fridges are responsible for driving up the price of ilish,” Joydeb Pal, the district fisheries officer, told UNB.

The fishermen agreed. “The trawlers we use for fishing and the trucks and mini-trucks used for transport are all diesel-powered. So, the increase in the price of fuel has directly affected us,” said Belayet Mir, a fisherman from Barguna.

Some fish traders, however, claimed hilsa prices had risen following the government’s permission for 49 trading units to export 2,400 tonnes of hilsa to India for the upcoming puja. from Durga.

Sheikh Saidul Islam, a fish trader, said: “Thanks to the government’s multipurpose plan, hilsa production has increased. But its prices vary according to market demand.

A recent UNB audit of different markets in Khulna city – Gallamari Bazar, Sandhya Bazar, New Market Bazar, Rupsha Bazar, Natun Bazar, Boyra Bazar and Khalishpur Bazar – revealed the truth.

At Sandhya market, for example, a kg of hilsa was sold at 1,200-1,300 Tk against the usual price of 600-800 Tk.

Afzal, a retail trader in Gallamari Bazar, said “most people just ask the prices but refrain from buying the fish.”

Ishak Member, a trader at Rupsha Fish Market, said, “Several hundred traders are involved in the hilsa business. We urge all relevant authorities to take action for the growth of the business.

Hilsa has the highest contribution to the country’s fish production as a unique fish species.

Every year, the government imposes a two-month ban on the capture, sale, hoarding and transportation of hilsa to increase its production.

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