First lot of Hilsa was sent to India through Benapole land port this morning. As a friendly gesture to neighboring India, the Bangladesh government has announced to export 1,475 tonnes of Hilsa fish to India. Bengal river delta is the largest producer of Hilsa. This fish has been an integral part of festival in this part of the world. Demand for Hilsa increases during the annual Hindu festival Durga Puja.
Climate change, increasing population, excessive fishing, and manmade obstructions like Farakka barrage have decreased Hilsa production. Farakka barrage has deserted the northern part of Bangladesh. This barrage has become a symbol of Indian big brother attitude towards Bangladesh.
As the production of Hilsa decreased, the price has increased. So Bangladesh has limited Hilsa export to meet the local demand. But thanks to some restrictive measures by the Bangladesh coast guard and Bangladesh navy, following advice from Bangladeshi marine biologists Hilsa production has increased in recent years.
India has never paid attention to concerns from Bangladesh on border killings by Indian border guards, continued water diversion on upstream. But Bangladesh has never hesitated to do its part. Allowing Hilsa export is one of them. Bangladesh government has allowed exporting three times more Hilsa to India this year. Hilsa price in the local market has already increased as a consequence.