21 September, 2020

Just Not Too Maach!

With the famed hilsa fish registering a low catch for the second year running, West Bengal plans a conservation drive

Swapan Nayak
Just Not Too Maach!
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
It’s a Sunday treat the Pauls never miss. Every weekend during the monsoon, patriarch Prabhat Paul visits the neighbourhood market to handpick the best and biggest hilsa he can find for a lavish family lunch. He’s been doing it for decades. But this year, the Calcutta family found itself out of luck. The city’s markets have been inundated by a kind of juvenile or young hilsa (called ‘khoka’ or young), and the tastier, full-grown fish has been hard to come by. So when Paul’s daughter-in-law Subhoda discovered that a Calcutta jeweller was organising a mouth-watering promotional—a free hilsa with certain purchases—she rushed over to the city store, and came back with a whopper, from the Rupnarayan river. "It’s the best hilsa I’ve had this season," she says. "It’s been difficult to find freshwater hilsa in all these weeks, so I wanted the family to enjoy at least one good catch this season. I’ve heard that the river variety of the hilsa might not be around much longer."

This is a very real fear among Calcuttans this monsoon. After all, the hilsa isn’t...

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