Bangladesh lifts ban on hilsa exports


  • Bangladesh  lifted a 2012 ban on the export of its national fish hilsa, whose key markets include India, to check its smuggling and tap into the growing global demand for the popular but scarce food species.
  • According to literature on fish resources, the roaming ground of hilsa ranges from Persian Gulf to Gulf of China through Bay of Bengal but 75 per cent of it are produced in Bangladesh.
  • The species is regarded the best in terms of taste.
  • Basically a sea-water fish, hilsa makes its way up fresh water rivers travelling up to 1300-km during mating season, a feature that gives it the repute of being the most mobile fish species having its roaming ground both in sea and fresh water.

More Facts:

  • Bangladeshis all over the world can raise a toast as one of their delicacies, Hilsa fish ( Ilish in Bengali), has been accorded geographical identification (GI), which has tagged the fish as a Bangladeshi product. It is the second item to get the GI tag after the Zamdani Sari.
  • Hilsa, which is often hailed as the “Queen of fishes” and is known for its unique aroma, constitutes 12 per cent of the overall fish catch in Bangladesh.
  • Hilsas spawn more or less throughout the year and they have a minor spawning season during February-March and a major season in September-October.
  • Immature Hilsa fish (6-10 cm), known as jatka, are extensively caught during their seaward migration in some of the major rivers of the country.

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