Defying a ban, a section of fishermen have been netting hilsa in the Meghna and selling those at a makeshift market in Sadar upazila for the last couple of days.
Locals said the market opens around 6:00 in the morning and continues till noon every day. Wholesale traders from different parts of the country throng there to buy hilsa, they added.
Some 200 fishermen are involved in catching hilsa in the river along Char Abdullah, Kalirchar and Bakchar villages and selling those at the makeshift market in Bakchar area, they said.
Senior Fisheries Officer Nasir Uddin of Sadar upazila admitted the incident and said the fishermen chose the place as the area was remote.
“But we are conducting regular drives,” he said, adding that they fined two fishermen Tk 2,000 each yesterday for violating the ban.
A 22-day government ban on netting, selling and transporting hilsa across the country began on October 7 midnight. A circular to that end has also been issued.
Taking the opportunity of the ban, some unscrupulous fishermen and seasonal traders have been selling hilsa at low prices door to door in Louhajang upazila.
Women and adolescents mainly turn into the seasonal traders.
A housewife yesterday bought five kg of small and middle-sized hilsa from an adolescent boy at only Tk 500 in Uttar Haldia village under the upazila.
On a regular day, hilsa usually sells at Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,200 a kg in the fish market in the upazila, she said.
Idris Talukder, a senior fisheries officer in the upazila, said they could not conduct drives in the Padma yesterday due to rough weather.
On Wednesday, two executive magistrates from the deputy commissioner's office conducted a drive in the river and detained 24 fishermen for violating the ban.