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Bangladesh's national fish priced skyrocketed ahead of Bengali New Year

Staff writer |
Prices of the hugely popular and delightfully tasty fish Hilsa have skyrocketed in Bangladesh ahead of the Bengali New Year 1423 which falls on April 14.

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For many Bengali people, Hilsa, a species of fish in the herring family, is a "must eat" fish on the first day of the Bengali New Year.

The revered fish usually migrate to Bangladeshi rivers from the Bay of Bengal between June and September.

According to the fisheries department, Hilsa accounts for about 12 percent of the country's annual fish production and about 450,000 fishermen depend on Hilsa, which usually grow to a weight of 4 kg each.

Bengalis usually start the day with a traditional, simple breakfast of panta-bhat (leftover rice soaked in water) and fried hilsa - the prices for which local supermarkets have hiked severely.

Hilsa, a delicacy, weighing about 1 kg is now being sold in Dhaka's markets for between 10,000-12,000 taka (up to $150).

The fish weighing between 500 and 650 grams were selling for anything between 2,000-2,500 taka in the retail market.

With the prices extremely high this year, the tradition of eating Hilsa will apparently be restricted to the more affluent Bengalis.

Amid soaring prices many were seen in the city's markets to, instead of rushing to buy the exorbitantly priced fish, busy buying cakes, sweets and fruits to "sweeten the mood" during the upcoming celebrations.

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