The West Bengal Fisheries Department in the third week of January 2017 proposed to give legal protection to Hilsa Fish to stabilize its declining population.
With the introduction of the provisions, Hilsa or the Indian Shad will become the first fish variety in India to get legal protection. It is soon possible that anyone who buys or sells the fish weighing more than 500 grams can be arrested.
The fish is on the brink of extinction because of migration barriers, population and over-fishing.
Earlier, the state government had banned fishing between June-August and October-December in the five hilsa sanctuaries on the Hooghly River from Farakka to Sagar, which covers a stretch of 250 km.
About Hilsa Fish
• Hilsa is also known as Ilish (Tenualosa ilisha).
• It is a species of fish in the herring family and a popular food fish in South Asia.
• It contributes about 12 per cent of the total fish production and about 1 per cent of GDP in Bangladesh.
• It is the national fish of Bangladesh.
• Hilsa mainly prospers in marine and freshwater.
• It can grow up to 60 cm in length and can weigh up to 3 kg.
• It is found in rivers and estuaries in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Burma and the Persian Gulf area.
• The fish filter feeds on plankton and by grubbing muddy bottoms.
• The most fertile month for breeding of hilsa is April.