Publication Date: 23 April, 2017
Brood fishes start spawning in Halda
Media: The Independent
Original URL : Brood fishes start spawning in Halda
E-paper URL: Brood fishes start spawning in Halda
Brood fishes or mother fishes of some indigenous sweet water species have resumed releasing eggs in the Halda after a year’s gap. Different species of brood fish started spawning in the current season on Friday. “Fishermen collected 1,680 kg of eggs from different spots of the river, which flows through the Hathazari and Raozan upazilas. Around 28 kg of post-larval fish (locally known as ‘renu’) could be produced from the spawn,” said Manzoorul Kibria, an expert on the Halda and professor of zoology at Chittagong University. Local sources said mother fishes started releasing eggs in full swing around 1:00 am on Saturday, continuing until the morning.
Several hundred fishermen on 105 boats collected eggs from the river. Most of the eggs were gathered at the Napiter Ghona, Bari Ghona, and Ramdas Munshir Hat areas.
The sources said heavy rain in Chittagong on Friday caused strong currents in the river, creating congenial conditions for the mother fish to spawn.
Every year, during the Bangla months of Baishakh and Jaishtha (April and May), different indigenous species of carps like the ‘catla’ (Catla catla), ‘rui’ (Labeo rohita), ‘mrigel’ (Cirrhinus mrigala) and ‘kalbaoush’ (Labeo calbasu) start migrating to the spawning ground of the Halda from rivers like the Karnaphuli, Matamuhuri and Sangu. Fishermen collect the spawn in a festive mood. Last year, the brood fishes did not release eggs in the Halda.
“We were apprehensive because last year, fishes did not release eggs in the river. Some experts thought the valuable breeding ground was dead. Fishermen along with 300 boats had gathered to collect eggs in last year, but felt frustrated, as they found no eggs. It is good news for us that, this year, mother fishes released eggs again. It seems that the natural breeding ground is going to get back its environment,” said Manzoorul Kibria.
Yet, there are reasons to worry, as the amount of eggs is decreasing each year, added Kibria. He said, “On Friday, fishermen collected 28 kg of post-larval fish, while the amount was 250 kg in 2014 and 150 kg in 2015, clearly showing a sharply declining trend. Several years ago, fishermen used to
collect about 1,000 kg of post-larval fish from the Halda.” “Pollution caused by industrial effluents, the establishment of a rubber dam near Bhujpur on river’s upstream, the catching of mother fishes, and sand excavation downstream were destroying the Halda’s natural environment and hampering fish breeding,” said Kibria.
After collecting the eggs, fishermen nurture them in mud pots and in the cisterns of eight hatcheries established by the fisheries department, said spawn collectors. After 96 hours, the eggs yield fries which are then sold to fry traders or hatchery owners at Tk. 50,000 to Tk. 80,000 per kg, said a local fisherman.