Hilsa fish

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August 2017: GI status

Hilsa fish now a cerified unique product of Bangladesh, August 9, 2017: The Times of India


HIGHLIGHTS

Hilsa fish has been accorded geographical identification (GI), which has tagged the fish as a Bangladeshi product

It is the second item to get the GI tag after the Zamdani Sari, a patent official said

Hilsa is often hailed as the "Queen of fishes" and is known for its unique aroma

KOLKATA: Bangladeshis all over the world can raise a toast as one of their delicacies, Hilsa fish ( Ilish in Bengali), has been accorded geographical identification (GI), which has tagged the fish as a Bangladeshi product. It is the second item to get the GI tag after the Zamdani Sari, a patent official said.

A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. The registrar of the patent design and trademark department (PDTD), Sanwar Hossain, told that a certificate of registration would be handed over to the fisheries department.

The GI follows an application by the fisheries department last year for registering the Hilsa as a Bangladeshi product. After processing the application, a gazette notification was published on June 1 in the International Journal of Patents, saying that an item becomes the applicant's property as a GI product if no one from home and abroad sends any objection.

Hilsa, which is often hailed as the "Queen of fishes" and is known for its unique aroma, constitutes 12 per cent of the overall fish catch in Bangladesh. At least 4,50,000 fishermen are said to be directly involved in catching the fish.

Bangladesh provides about 70 per cent of the Hilsa supplied to the market. This makes it the largest producer of the fish, followed by 15 per cent by India and 10 per cent by Myanmar, while the rest comes from the Arabian Gulf and other countries. Sanwar Hossain noted that Bangladesh's claim on the Hilsa as a GI item would protect its right on the fish globally.

Hilsas spawn more or less throughout the year and they have a minor spawning season during February-March and a major season in September-October. Immature Hilsa fish (6-10 cm), known as jatka, are extensively caught during their seaward migration in some of the major rivers of the country.

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