Hilsa, a delicious fish, is being caught abundantly in coastal rivers of the district though it is an off-season for such huge catches.
This off-season practice has been prevalent for the last 2-3 years, where fishermen embark on catching hilsa using catapults, electric nets, and other items, which are later sold in various markets of the district.
Siraj Chokdar, a veteran fish merchant, said they have sold more hilsa than during the seasonal production the bulk price of which is Tk 27,000 per maund.
Asked about the fish size being caught, local fishermen Lokman and Harun said those are mostly young hilsa, below the minimum size of 10 inches. "If this practice is not dealt with seriously, it'll be disastrous for future hilsa output."
Allegations are also there to the local Coast Guard members who always patrol to seize illegal current nets as they remain silent about miniature catapults and other objects used for fishing.
Dr.Anisur Rahman, chief hilsa researcher at Chandpur Fisheries Research Institute, told UNB that initiatives taken by the government over hilsa breeding has led to better output throughout the year and that is why it nullifies the 'season and off-season' notion. "We'll conduct more research on finding counters to the catapults," he said.