Department of Fisheries on Sunday applied for registration of the national fish Hilsha as a geographical indication product to globally identify the fish as of Bangladesh origin.
Drector general of the department of fisheries Syed Arif Azad submitted the application to the industries ministry senior secretary M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on the day.
Hilsha will be the second GI product, after Jamdani, one of the finest muslin textiles, of the country when it gets the registration.
Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks of the industries ministry, the sole authority to register any goods as GI product, has already completed all necessary formalities to register Jamdani as GI product.
Jamdani, popularly known as Dhakai Jamdani, will soon get the official registration as GI product following the application of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC).
According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin or place and possess qualities, characteristics or a reputation that are due to that origin.
The registration ensures the exclusive right to use the GI product, increase commercial value of the product and prevent unauthorised use of the product by others.
The department in September 2015 opened applications for GI registration after the government enacted Geographical Indication Goods (registration and protection) Act-2013 and formulated GI Rules-2015 to protect the rights of the GI products.
It has got two other applications from the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute for GI registration of Kataribhog and Kalijira rice which had been sent back seeking more information and documents.
At the application receiving programme, Mosharraf said that the government had taken steps to protect the rights of the products originated within the territory of the country and preserve the intellectual property.
Other GI products will gradually be registered, he said.
Bangladesh has three kinds of Hilsa. The most famous species is called Tenualosa Hilsha, known as Padma Ilish which is the testiest and the richest in fat and flavor among all types of Hilsas.
This Ilish is widely found in the territory of the country from the Bay of Bengal to major rivers.
The two other species are known Chandana Ilishi and Gurta Ilish. Chandana Ilish is found in the Meghna estuary and the Bay of Bengal while the Gurta Ilish is found only in the sea.
Hilsa fish is also found in India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Oman and Bahrain but about 60 per cent of the fish is caught in Bangladesh, some 20 per cent in Myanmar and 15 per cent in India.
In 2015, 3.87 lakh tonnes of Hilsa fish were caught in Bangladesh.
By registering the Hilsa as GI product, the government will achieve the exclusive right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards.
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