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West Bengal: Hilsa haul dips to ‘25-year low' by Anshuman Phadikar August 06,2020   |  Source: Telegraph India

Fishermen and trawler owners in East Midnapore and South 24-Parganas have reported a “negligible” hilsa catch six weeks into the fishing season. For the first time in almost 25 years a July monsoon proved so dry for the hilsa catch, sources said, attributing it to less rainfall and lack of easterly winds that help in the movement of the prized fish.

Digha Fishermen’s Association secretary Shyamsundar Das said he had been tracking this trade for 30 years, but for the first time was seeing a hilsa harvest that “you can literally count on one hand”. Assistant director of fisheries (marine), South 24-Parganas, Jayanta Pradhan agreed that in July the hilsa catch “almost amounted to zero”. “Going by the record of the fisheries department this has been the lowest-ever catch in 25 years,” he said.

Hilsa trawlers, of which there are 3,500 in East Midnapore and 12,000 in South 24-Parganas, began fishing on the government-stipulated date of June 15 this year. Over a month and a half later, they say they have been “running at huge losses” ever since. “The minimal hilsa that we have managed to catch has not fetched us even a fifth of the money spent on fuel and maintenance. We had a low yield in June but we were banking on a strong July monsoon which never

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