Bangladesh observed ‘National Fisheries Week 2021’ from August 28 to September 3. The theme of this year’s National Fisheries Week was ‘Increase fish, reduce unemployment’.
Status of total fisheries production
Aquaculture in Bangladesh consists of inland and coastal aquaculture. Pond farming is often seen in freshwater aquaculture, while the ‘gher' culture is practised in coastal areas. Aquaculture farmings are vastly extensive and improved. However, biofloc fish farming, which relies on intensive methods, is becoming more popular these days. In order to maintain an effective aquaculture industry, it is critical to have quality seeds and feeds readily available. The aquaculture extension service of the Department of Fisheries is quite satisfactory. However, quality seeds can only be obtained via top-notch hatchery management.
Fisheries management and biodiversity
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is in charge of the Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute and Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation, in charge of management, extension, research, project implementation, marketing, training and human resource development, quality control, biodiversity conservation, law and regulation enforcement. In addition, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and other non-governmental organizations are assisting the government with fisheries management. However, Bangladesh's fisheries management strategies are still in the early stages. A large number of Bangladesh's native fishes are now on the verge of extinction due to lack of management strategies.
Coastal and Marine Fisheries
Hilsa- the geographical indicator of Bangladesh
As a single species, the national fish hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) has contributed the most (12.15 per cent) to the country's total fish production. Our national fish hilsa, known as ‘Bangladeshi ilish,' has also received the Geographical Indication Registration Certificate. The Bangladeshi government makes specific efforts to enhance hilsa production. There are a lot of things involved here, including a fishing prohibition during the spawning season, restrictions on fishing equipment, controls on fishing vessels, incentives for fishermen and more.
The fisheries sector of Bangladesh has copious prospects for development to boost the country's economy. Thus, the government of Bangladesh set a goal in its Vision 2021 to achieve food self-sufficiency and has placed emphasis on increasing food security, which encompasses a clear long-term policy to achieve self-reliance in fish production. Inter-government departmental cooperation, the collaboration between governmental and non-governmental organisations and public awareness are crucial in the fisheries policy for further development of this sector.
Iftekhar Ahmed Fagun, postgraduate researcher, Department of Aquatic Resource
Management, Sylhet Agricultural University