Kolkata: Now Bengalis will not have to wait till monsoon to have their favourite fish. To make Hilsa available round the year the West Bengal Fisheries Department has taken up an initiative to supply Hilsa fish, the savoury for Bengali taste buds, throughout the year.
The department gradually wants to stop import of the fish from Myanmar, which is much more than gastronomy for a Bong. Hilsa, popularly known as Ilish in Bengal, is about identity, history and nostalgia. A Bong will take a mouthful of Hilsa and sort out the bones without showing any sign of discomfort.
In a significant stride towards becoming self-reliant in the production of Hilsa, the state Fisheries department will now take up the cultivation of the fish in ponds and rivers. The department has signed an MoU with a Norwegian company, which will extend all possible assistance in this regard.
“If Norway has been successful in cultivating salmon in pond or river water, then there is no reason why we should not be able to do the same with Hilsa. We are taking Norwegian help for processing of the fish with plans so that the fish can breed in pond or river water,” state Fisheries minister Chadranath Sinha said.