Areas, time for Hilsa fish conservation set to ensure sustainability in Rakhine state

As efforts are being made to export Hilsa fish (Tenualosa illisha) more to the world market, conservation areas for Hilsa fish have been designated for the long-term sustainability of the fish species in Rakhine State, according to the Rakhine State Department of Fisheries.
To ensure the long-term sustainability of the Myanmar Hilsa fish species that breed in saltwater areas, creeks and rivers in Myebon Township and Minbya Township have been initially designated as a Hilsa fish conservation area, with 2,065 acres. The conservation period is set twice from 1 April to 31 May, and 1 September to 31 October, and efforts are also being made to extend some other areas.
Myanmar accounts for three per cent of the world’s Hilsa fish production, followed by India at 25 per cent and Bangladesh at 65 per cent. As Myanmar, which owns the sea, has many opportunities to earn more foreign exchange from the international market for Hilsa fish production, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation is implementing the conservation of the fish species and the meeting (2/2022) of the Rakhine state government on 20 January issued the order to conserve Hilsa fish.
“As Hilsa fish is gradually scarce in the country, the Union minister has reconnected conservation activities to increase production and set the conservation area and time for fish,” said U Thet Oo, Director of the Rakhine State Department of Fisheries.

“It breeds in fresh water and grows in saltwater. If the conservation period is followed, Myanmar fish exports will rise again,” he added.
In Rakhine State, hatchlings are caught into fishing nets during hatching seasons, and during the non-fishing season, they are lost due to overfishing, resulting in scarcity of fish and high prices from year to year. So far, the state is working to establish 11 Hilsa fish conservation areas across the country. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/GNLM

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