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February 6, 2015

Breakthrough in Hilsa production in Bengal

Breakthrough in Hilsa production in Bengal

The West Bengal Fisheries Department has taken up an initiative to supply Hilsa fish, the savoury for Bengali taste buds, throughout the year.

Now Bengalis will not have to wait till monsoon to have their favourite fish. To make Hilsa available round the year the Scientists of Kakdwip’s Institute of Aqua Culture have come up with an innovative method of cultivating Hilsa in tank water with induced salinity.  The research process started way back in October – November 2013.

Initially, the scientists failed to save the seedlings but after making changes in the salinity content of the water and bringing changes in the feed, they met with success. Some apprehensions have been expressed if the unique taste of the fish will be retained as it travels through Pacific Ocean before coming to the shores of Bengal, scientists are hopeful as the feed consists of ‘phytoplankton’, the taste will be intact.

In the past, WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee had sent letters to the erstwhile Prime Minister asking him to take steps to bring down the price of Hilsa imported from Bangladesh.

Also, to shore up sharply falling yields of Hilsa, the Bengal CM had promised alternative employment and rice at Rs 2 a kg to around 200,000 fishermen to ensure they don’t catch it during the breeding season.