Defying the ongoing 65-day ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal, fishermen have caught a large black grouper fish also called marbled rockfish or locally known as black popa fish in Cox's Bazar.
The 30 kg fish was brought at Sabrang Baharchhara Ghat in Teknaf on Friday (14 July) noon to sell at Tk7.5 lakh, according to Nurul Amin, president of Fishing Trawler Owners Association of the fishing ghat.
The scientific name of the fish is Mycteroperca bonaci. The fish costs a lot because its bladder is very valuable and used for making surgical yarn.
The fish was caught in the net of the trawler of Syed Ahmed, a resident of Habibpara, Sadar union of the upazila.
Mohammad Ullah, the driver of the trawler, said, "Five fishermen from Baharchhara in Sabrang Union left for Bay of Bengal with Syed Ahmed's trawler on Friday morning. At the Baro Bain area, a big black popa fish was caught in the net along with different species of fish."
Syed Ahmed, said, "Till now, two fish traders – Abdur Rahman and Mohammad Farooq – have quoted the price up to Tk4 lakh. In hope for higher prices, we are considering taking the fish to Cox's Bazar Sadar or Chattogram."
Mohammad Salim, a Union Parishad member of Sabrang ward No-1, said due to government restrictions, most of the boats and trawlers have been kept away from the sea.
On condition of anonymity a trawler owner said the fishing ban will end on 23 July, however, to earn their livelihood and survive, many are fishing in the sea in trawlers, avoiding the eyes of the administration.
Teknaf upazila's Senior Fisheries Officer Delwar Hossain was contacted several times on mobile phone for a statement on the matter, but he did not answer his phone.