The proverb “Mache Bhate Bengali” is still a reality for Bengali foodies. There’s no family that doesn’t satisfy their fishless meal with rice for two meals. And if this fish is a native open-water freshwater fish, then there is no doubt. Then there will be fresh shachra fish broth (various types of small fish) and various dishes with rice for two meals. The practice of performing it in the homes of every Bengali including the upper class, upper middle class and middle class of society has been going on for a long time.
And around 3,000 fishermen, slaves, and Nikaru communities in the district survive on the supply of this freshwater fish. They used traditional techniques as well as ancient fishing methods. These folk arts include (in regional languages) Bochanya, Polo, Ghuni, Chai, Doair, Khapla Jal, Buchna Jal, Ber Jal, Vesal, Bine, Teta, Jyoti, Koch, Barshi, etc. However, despite the prevalence of various folk technologies, the practice of fishing with fishing rods has almost disappeared in this region.
Nowadays, Bengalis have forgotten the taste of fresh fish broth with rice. Various natural calamities, and man-made calamities, in addition to this, the deep and shallow reservoirs are in crisis as the rivers, canals, and canals are filled with the level of alluvium flowing from the upstream due to severe flooding. Many bodies of water have also disappeared from the map due to the filling of canals due to human needs.
Once upon a time, all the rivers were full of different species of fish. Now the free breeding of fish is not like before. So there is no more fishing as before. However, the trend of fishing in this region has not completely stopped. The mesmerizing sight of fishing for various native technology traps is still visible. Anglers and recreational anglers use traditional techniques as well as ancient nets and traps to catch fish.
Even five decades ago, the central part of the country was full of rivers, canals, and rivers. More or less fish were available here for twelve months. There was then no shortage of different species of freshwater fish. The Madaripur region is a relatively low-lying area located in the plains of the country. For good reason, all these rivers, canals, rivers, canals and rivers are easily drowned in the upstream water during the monsoon season.
When a flood occurs, water from these reservoirs overflows the banks and submerges fields and farms. Water splashes all around. Then the fish stuck in ponds or canals come out in open water. It is said that the marginal population has no work during the full monsoons. Then they were seen going out to fish in open bodies of water with various folk-tech traps.
Farmers or marginal communities, fishermen and fishermen also roam the open water bodies day and night to catch fish. Fishermen and Nikaruras float from place to place in small canoes with boat nets and other fishing traps. During the rainy season, along with the fishermen, the poor, and the marginalized, many amateur and addicted fishermen hunt the fish. However, after the monsoon waters subside, fishing in the southern reservoirs becomes more difficult.
Then ordinary people began to run to the rivers and reservoirs with equipment of popular fishing technology. The view of the village was lovely. Then the bazaars are filled with different types of fish. With the arrival of the monsoons, there is a flood of happiness in the fishing villages of the center and the south of the country. At that time, many hilsa fish were also caught in the deep river. At one time, the hilsa fish was also caught in the Arialkhan River which ran through Madaripur. At that time, there were settlements of fishermen on both banks of the Aryalkhan and Kumar rivers.
When monsoon water overflowed fields and farms, hundreds of pond fish were swept away and wandered into the open water. At that time, many large rui, katal, mrigel were caught in the nets of fishermen. After the retreat of the monsoon waters, the banks of the canals and ponds of this region wake up. During the monsoon, stray fish would get stuck in these canals and ponds. This is when the fishing rod would drop. This scene is still visible. But not as much as the previous days. If all this is completely lost, the existence of the folk community in Bengal will disappear. Along with this, extreme natural disasters will occur. There will be a shortage of meat.
Once upon a time, the Madaripur region was famous as a fish market. Because the area is a low-lying, flood-prone area, there are abundant natural freshwater fish. At present, in the monsoons, with rui, katal, mrigel fish, boal, koi-shing floated by the tide, puti, tengra fish and after the monsoon, in the rivers, ponds-channels-rivers, koi-shing , puti, tenga, besides Sarputi, Pabda, Baim, Khailsya, various fish species are caught including Shaul, Bailya fish, Gutum, Rayna fish, Poa fish, Batasi fish, Rayak fish, Malangi fish. Of these, small fish are caught with running nets, boats and khepla nets. During the rainy season, fishing is done on the banks of rivers, bil-baur, coming out of the mouths of streams, ghuni, chai, doair, fence nets, bines etc. Hobbyists and marginal farmers fish for current nets in field alleys and under bushes. Amateur and professional fishermen hunt shaul-gajar, boal fish in the water with Teta, Jyoti and Koch. All of these amateur and professional anglers enjoy catching fish more than eating fish. Many catch fish with spears. Hilsa fishing can be seen in the Arialkhan, Padma and Meghna rivers during the monsoon season. The fishing trend in Hilsa increases during the monsoon. Then the fishermen and Nikarura went to the deep waters of these rivers and caught hilsa fish. Not only fishermen or Nikaruras, but many poor communities catch fish during monsoons. All these people from the village earn their living by catching fish during 2/3 monsoon months.
The fishing methods used by the people of this region in the early times are still used to catch fish. Popular technology was and still is. Only the script has changed. Decrease in rivers-reservoirs-decrease in native fish farming. For this reason, the cultivation of various types of foreign fish has increased. At present, the danger of native fish is the China Duari net. Professional fishermen are on their way because of the Chinese border. Very small fish fry are also caught with China Duari. The fish cannot grow because of pona hunting. China Duari is used by a class of unscrupulous fishermen. The administration raids various rivers and streams in the district, seizing thousands of meters of china duari and burning them. Even by punishing hundreds of fishermen with fines, China cannot stop the violence in Duari. Despite all these hardships, around 3,000 fishermen, slaves and Nikaru families in the Madaripur district make a comfortable living by selling fish from rivers, canals and other water bodies.
Subal Biswas, Madaripur