Sylhet is a place known for its Haor, which is home to a diverse range of fish species. Fishermen tirelessly engage in fishing activities, while others indulge in the hobby of fishing using nets and traps. However, climate change has triggered the destruction of Haor’s natural environment, resulting in several fish species extinction.
The superior flavour of Haor fish makes it command a higher price than pond fish. The fishing festival is held in reservoirs as soon as the water level starts to recede.
As the water decreases, you can feel the running of the fish in the water.
“Strangely beautiful”! Fish float on water. From the village elders to the dashing youngsters, everyone is busy with the fresh fishing of Haor.
Both nets and mud fishing were utilized by individuals throughout the day at the reservoir, from sunrise until sunset, as though it were a festivity. Along with seasoned fishers, numerous Haor inhabitants partake in fishing as a pastime.
Sylhet Umed Ali’s memories have been confirmed to be authentic by none other than the well-known folk musician Hemang Biswas from the subcontinent. It is worth noting that Ali had left Habiganj and moved to Kolkata in 1962. Through one of his songs, he expressed his deep sadness about the lack of fresh fish and healthy water in Haor.
Locals go fishing as a hobby, this is the traditional rule of Haor. Baim, Guthum, Pabda, Boal, Bagar, Shing, Magur, Id and other delicious fish are also caught.
Haor inhabits all four districts of Sylhet. Due to the related reasons, the quantity of fish here is slightly higher than in other parts of the country. At the beginning of Kartik, the people of Howar indulge in fishing because of the low water.
Rabindranath saw the hawker selling fish as a child. From that memory, he wrote in the poem ‘Balak’, ‘The hawker used to walk across the street/with a towel covering the basket of penance fish’. In the month of Kartik covered with that towel, fresh fish is sold from village to village in Haor. It is in this month that the Haor residents are intoxicated by the aroma of the thin broth made with fresh, delicious fish.