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Overfishing drives West Bengal’s hilsa fishers fp the creek by Tanmoy Bhaduri March 26,2020   |  Source: The Quint

On the eve of Maghi Purnima, while marine fishers were preparing for Ganga puja at West Bengal’s Sagar Island, everyone was talking with a sense of foreboding. Abdar Mallik, secretary of Sagar Marine Matsya Khuti Cooperative Society, said, “Bajar bhalo na, Goto teen bochor ilish aschhena,” (Translated: The market is not in a good state. As a result, we haven’t been receiving any hilsa here for the last three years). The decline in the production of hilsa on the Indian side (West Bengal) of Bay of Bengal has been a rising concern in the recent past. Researchers claim hilsa is destroyed by over-exploitation in northern Bay of Bengal, which has threatened the livelihoods of over 26,000 fishers in West Bengal.

Unsustainable Fishing Practices

In a recent study, scientists questioning the sustainability of hilsa fishing practices in the northern Bay of Bengal region. They suggested that excess of licensed fishing trawlers are responsible for declining hilsa stock. From the estuary of the Ganga to deep in the Bay of Bengal, about 15,000 trawlers are hovering in the migratory path of the hilsa as the fish approaches the river to spawn, and on its way out. The study revealed that between 2002 and 2015, even though the number of boats engaged in fishing increased by 25%, the

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)