Breeding and culture status of Hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha, Ham. 1822) in South Asia: a review uri icon


  • The Hilsa shad, Tenualosa ilisha popularly known as â??Hilsaâ??, is one of the most commercially important fish species in South Asian countries. The species is widely distributed from the Persian Gulf to Bay of Bengal and ascends into estuaries, rivers and brackish-water lagoons of the Indo-Pacific region. Recently, the availability of hilsa has drastically dwindled in aquatic systems across this region, due to anthropogenic pressures, mainly intensive fishing and river obstruction by dams and barrages. Climate change may also be contributing to the declining populations. Hence, there is an urgent need for conservation of the species. In addition, hilsa is of great cultural and economic importance among the peoples of Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin, with very high market demand and increasingly high prices, presently an average of around US$ 12 per kg for consumers both in India and Bangladesh. Many attempts at hilsa breeding and culture have been made across South Asia, particularly in India and Bangladesh, since the 1900s. To date, no breakthrough has been achieved in completing the life cycle in captivity. This review provides an insight into the status of artificial breeding, larval rearing and culture of this species, and identifies research gaps that need to be addressed by future aquaculture development programmes for hilsa in South Asia

publication date

  • 2016