Hilsa fish is a fish of saltwater. Thy live in a group in the coastal area of the sea. Hilsa is the national fish of Bangladesh. Among the total fish production of Bangladesh about 30% is hilsa. Hilsa fish is also known as some other name, such as ilish fish, elish fish etc. A large number of the Hilsa fishes are caught every year from the rivers of Bangladesh like, Padma, Meghna, Jamuna and some others. Generally it is a fish of sea. But during breeding period it comes to the big rivers and lays eggs there. As they come to the big rivers during breeding so, they are known as migratory fish. The minnow or young Hilsa fishes are known as Jatka. After successful breeding, they swim back to the sea. Fisherman also caught a large number of Hilsa fishes from the sea. But the Hilsa fishes of river are more tasty than sea fish. As a result, almost all the people like the freshwater or river Hilsa fish. Physical characteristics, classification, food, breeding and life cycle of this important fish are described below.
Classification of Hilsa Fish
The scientific classification of Hilsa fish described below.
- Kingdom : Animalia
- Phylum : Chordata
- Class : Actinopterygii
- Order : Clupeiformes
- Family : Clupeidae
- Subfamily : Alosinae
- Genus : Hilsa
- Species : H. ilisa
- Scientific Name : Hlisa ilisa
The main physical characteristics of Hilsa fishes are described below.
- The body of Hilsa fish is covered with bright silver colored scales.
- Their backside is slightly green colored.
- Body is flat from both side.
- Whole body is covered with big sized scales.
- Eyes are wide.
- Head is rectangles and flat.
- Hilsa fish has dorsal fin, pelvic fin caudal fin and pectoral fins.
- Anal fin is divided in two parts.
- Tummy is notched till pectoral fin.
- Front side of head is very soprano.
- They can swim very fast in the deep sea.
- Mouth is small.
- There is no teeth in their jaw.
- There are about 18-19 cords in the dorsal fin of Hilsa fish.
- Eye membranes are fatty.
Hilsa fish generally eats different types of plankton. They eat small plant, diatoms, rotifera, microcystis, oscillatoria, spirogyra, protozoa, alga etc. which are available in the water.
Hilsa fish gain sexual maturity at the age of 1-2 year. They do breeding 4-5 times in their whole life. There are two breeding season of Hilsa fish and they are rainy and winter season. The breeding period in rainy season is long and short in winter season. During breeding period they come to the coastal area of sea or in big rivers. They lays eggs there and swim back to the sea when the minnow become adult.