Dry fish production has started in Barguna’s Taltali upazila.
Fish drying is going on in full swing at Asharchar and other adjacent areas. The other areas include Sonakata and Jayalbhanga Char.
Usually, fish is dried in the sun during the winter season and the drying season starts in November, which continues for the next five months till March.
This year, fishers and traders started producing dry fish in a favourable environment, maintaining its original quality.
Traders said every year dry fish worth Tk 10 crore are produced in different areas of the upazila.
Livelihood of nearly one lakh people depend in this profession, where about 5,000 fishermen, labourers and traders are engaged.
Fishers said every week at least 100 to 150 maunds of dry fish are sold to the traders from different parts of the country from each Shutki Palli (spots for fish drying).
After netting the fish from the sea, fishers bring those to the Shutki Palli, where women wash them with fresh water and place the fish under the sun for drying.
It takes three to four days to produce the dried fish.
Around 25 species of fish including Rupchanda, Churi, Koral, Surma, Laitta, Shrimp, Vole and Poa are dried in different char areas of the upazila.
The demand for dried fish produced in the upazila is much higher as local fishers do not use any pesticides or extra salt in the processing work, said officials.
During a recent visit to Asharchar Shutki Palli, this correspondent saw over 600 fishers and traders have built 32 makeshift houses to stay there for drying fishes.
Dry fish trader Rupchand Howladar said he has been involved in the business for nearly 40 years. “The business is good but things are getting expensive these days and we are worried,” he said.
Barguna District Fisheries Officer Biswajit Kumar Dev said they will provide all kinds of support to the fishers and traders as hundreds of people are engaged with this trade.