Fisheries in Bangladesh

Table of Content

Introduction Bangladesh is enriched with extensive and huge qualitative water resources distributed all over the country in the form of different types of ponds, beels, lakes, boropits, small and large rivers and estuaries covering an area of about 4. 34 million hectare (ha. ). There are four categories of major fisheries resources: these are- 1) Inland open water, 2) Inland closed water, 3) Brackish water, and 4) Marine water. Fisheries sector has been playing a significant role from time immemorial. Contribution of this sector to Bangladesh economy is very important and there is ample scope of exploring the huge potential.

Several organizations is carrying out activities related to providing animal protein to this huge population of Bangladesh through conservation, proper management and planned development of fisheries resources; uplifting socio-economic condition of the fishermen; creating employment opportunity for the rural unemployed and landless people; widening avenue for earning more foreign currency by exporting fish, shrimp and fisheries products. According to Fisheries 2003-2004 statistics, 4. 91% of the GDP is contributed by the fisheries sector, which is highest among SAARC member countries accounts for about 20% of the total agricultural products.

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Besides, fisheries sector contributes 5. 7% to the country’s total export earning (2004-2005). Fish alone is supplementing about 63% of the animal protein of our daily national diet. So fisheries resources are the important avenue of national economy. Classification of fish There are four categories of major fisheries resources: these are- 1) Inland open water 2) Inland closed water 3) Brackish water 4) Marine water Though we can divide in three types but we can elaborate in two ways these are 1. Inland fish resources: In Bangladesh, there exist over 200 species of fish in inland waters.

Inland fishing contributes about 80 percent of the national fish production of Bangladesh, which is situated at the delta of three major river systems- the Ganges, the Jamuna and the Meghna. The fishing areas include rivers, haors, baors, beels, and the floodplains or inundated paddy fields. From the inland source total production of fish in year 2004-05 was 17. 41 lakh metric tons which increased to 19. 27 lakh metric tons in year 2006-07. The principal commercial species amongst these are Hilsa, Rui, Katla, Mrigal, Catfishes e. g. Magur, Shingi, Aor, Rita, Boal, feather back or Chital, Snakes heads i. . Shole and other allied fishes of the genus ophicephalus, Punti, fresh water eels known as Bain, Prawn etc. The popular fish Hilsa is available in large quantities in Padma and Meghna rivers. 2. Marine fish resources: Coastal estuaries and sea water are the main sources of marine fish resources. In the coastal areas such as Cox’s Bazar, Kutubdia, Teknaff, Hatia, Sondeep, Moheshkhali etc. , marine fishes are available in large quantities. A study says that, in a year, it is possible to catch 4-5 lakh metric tons marine fishes. So far, we have found around 475 types of marine fishes.

Among these, 42 types of fishes are caught for trading purposes. Main sea fishes are Koral, Shrimp, Lakkha, Churi, RoopChanda, Vetki, Shark, Maitta etc. Importance of fisheries resources: Importance of subsistence fisheries for the rural poor people of Bangladesh is very wide ranged but the significance of fishing within the annual income should not be overstressed, it is one of many sources, which becomes more important during the flood season when all three of their main sources (agriculture labor, non-agriculture labor and self-employment) are at their annual low.

It is correct to state that 68% of the rural population goes fishing when there is no other possibility to generate an income. Furthermore, any improvements on fisheries management have to be placed not only in the biological context of the area involved, but also in the social and cultural context of that area. There are three types of category who related in fisheries- Professional fishermen, Occasional fishermen, Subsistence fishermen. Not only that but fishing also related to our feeding and protein. Fisheries and Employment In Bangladesh, there are a huge people who are linked to fisheries from various aspects.

Our lot of people gets the main income from the fisheries and many of them are dependent fully on fisheries. Catching fish, exporting activities, drying fish, knitting net, making tools of catching are the various sphere of employment, by which many people earn their income. One notable development in the fisheries sector has been the emergence of shrimp exports during the 1980s. The export of shrimp has grown into a highly lucrative business and more than 300,000 people (owners, traders and paid labor) earn at least part of their income from the industry. The sector provides income to some 1. to 2 million full-time fisher folk and around 12 million part-time fisher folk. Furthermore, fish producers are among the extremely and moderately poor people, male as well as female. Recent development of Fisheries Resources There needs for fisheries to be considered during the development of water and land resources. This strategy has been formulated to propose ways in which the policies and in particular the National Fisheries Policy can be implemented and support can be offered to guide the sector, recognizing that over the next ten years the requirements of the sector are likely to change as development continues apace.

It illustrates the need for more support for the capture fisheries, both marine and inland, to reverse the current decline and to prevent further biodiversity and wetland losses. It also recognizes the increased support needed for both promoting aquaculture, but also improving the regulatory framework to provide a structure for the continued expansion. The building block sub-strategies of the National Fisheries Strategy are – • Aquaculture Sub-strategy • Aquaculture Extension Sub-strategy • Inland Capture Fisheries Sub-strategy Marine Sector Sub-strategy • Shrimp Sub-strategy • Monitoring and Evaluation Sub-strategy • Quality Control Sub-strategy and • Human Resource Development Sub-strategy. ‘Marine Food Act 2005’, ‘Marine Fish and Shrimp Hatchery Act, 2005’ and ‘Fish Quarantine Act, 2005’ have been enacted with a view to accelerate the development programmers in fishery sector. These measures will enhance environmental protection, production of quality fish and marine fisheries and increased in fish exports. Growth of Fisheries

The fisheries sector has become an increasingly important source of economic activity in Bangladesh. Not only it plays an important role to meet up the protein needs of the poor; it also contributes an average of around five percent to national GDP. In addition fish and fish products account for about five to six percent of total export earnings. Table: 1. Growth in the agricultural sectors of Bangladesh (In percentage) Sector/Sub sector1991-921995-962001-022005-062006-07 GDP Growth5. 044. 624. 426. 636. 51 1. Agriculture & Forestry1. 2. 0-0. 625. 232. 95 2. Fishery8. 27. 42. 223. 913. 99 Source: Bangladesh Economic Review 2007, MOF and BBS, GOB Fish production Fish is the main source of protein so the amount of fish production is important issue. The production of fish of our country is now increasing. From the Passage of year this production is gradually rises though this rising is not enough to meet the total demand for fish within the country. Now by using graph, from the information, we can easily illustrate the increasing amount of fish production. Table: 2.

Fish Production Statistics from Different Sources (In lakh metric ton) Sector Area (Lakh hector) 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 1. Inland: (A) Capture River and Estuaries Sundarban Beel Kaptai lake Flood plain 10. 32 – 1. 14 0. 60 28. 33 1. 50 0. 12 0. 75 0. 07 4. 45 1. 44 0. 12 0. 76 0. 07 4. 50 1. 38 0. 14 0. 75 0. 07 4. 75 1. 37 0. 15 0. 75 0. 07 4. 98 1. 40 0. 16 0. 75 0. 07 6. 21 1. 38 0. 16 0. 78 0. 07 7. 18 1. 36 0. 17 0. 75 0. 08 7. 68 Sub-Total 40. 47 6. 89 6. 89 7. 9 7. 32 8. 59 9. 57 10. 06 (B) Culture Ponds Baors Shrimp farms 2. 42 0. 05 1. 41 6. 16 0. 04 0. 93 6. 85 0. 04 1. 00 7. 52 0. 04 1. 01 7. 96 0. 04 1. 15 7. 57 0. 04 1. 21 7. 60 0. 04 1. 28 8. 11 0. 04 1. 29 Sub-Total 3. 88 7. 13 7. 87 8. 57 9. 15 8. 82 8. 92 9. 45 Total (Inland) 44. 36 14. 02 14. 75 15. 66 16. 47 17. 41 18. 49 19. 52 2. Marine Fisheries (A)Industrial (B)Artisanal0. 48 sq. n. m 0. 24 3. 55 0. 30 3. 90 0. 28 4. 04 0. 32 4. 23 0. 34 4. 41 0. 34 4. 46 0. 35 4. 52 Total (Marine) – 3. 79 4. 20 4. 32 4. 55 4. 75 4. 80 4. 87

Total – 17. 81 18. 90 19. 98 21. 02 22. 16 23. 29 24. 40 Source: Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Fisheries and Export earning The fisheries sector is significant for the Bangladesh’s economy from the export earning purpose. 4. 90% is the contribution of fisheries export in the total export earning, Showing much potential to develop as a commercial sector with employment and income generating opportunities both in the rural and urban areas. Many types of fish and dry fish are included here for the exporting.

The Shrimp, Bangladesh’s main aquatic export item facing grave environmental, socio-political and socio-economic consequences have resulted in the wake of its expansion which jeopardized the livelihoods of millions, particularly the most vulnerable women and children concurrently, crab worth an important position of immense prospects. However, eels, a recent export item, are presently exported to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, China and Taiwan. Table: 3. Export of Fish and Fish-product from Bangladesh (Total Value in Crore Taka) YearTotal Value% of Total Export Earning 000-012032. 755. 77 2001-021637. 144. 76 2002-031941. 595. 10 2003-042363. 475. 71 2004-052571. 725. 90 2005-063029. 844. 56 2006-073352. 894. 90 Source: Fishery Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh, 2006/07 Internal problems of fisheries There are some major problems in Bangladesh which affect the production of fish badly. 1) Flood control and drainage (FCD) projects reduce fish habitat and the potential for floodplains fish production. 2) The use of pesticides can kill fish and fries 3) Industrial pollution of inland and marine waters which harms fish habitats. ) Creating problem among the fishing life cycle. 5) Use of prohibited net. 6) Water pollution is another cause of fishing leg behind. 7) Lack of fishing food. There also are some unnoticeable problems which should be eradicated for the improvement of fisheries sector. The looming fish crisis in the world Perhaps the only reason that governments around the world have been slow to respond to environmental crisis is that the earth is still producing plenty of food — enough fiber, grain and fish to support six billion plus people.

Many are malnourished, of course, but that’s primarily a matter of bad distribution. However, a closer look at the trend is disturbing. There is a difference between current production and capacity, which is the amount of grain or fish the globe can produce indefinitely. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) statistics, the world’s fish harvest has now risen from 49 million tons in 1965 to over 110 million tons today. Most worrisome, according to the some organization, around 60 per cent of the worlds various commercial fish stocks are now being harvested near or beyond sustainable levels.

Giant high-tech vessels roam the world’s waters, scooping up their once bottomless bounty. Environmentalists call the vessels the “strip miners of the sea”. These big, ocean sweeping factory trawlers, trailing nets at least a kilometer long capable of hauling up 400 tons of fish in a single gulp, are blamed for an assault on worldwide fish stocks. Alarmed Scientists of the World Conservation Union have added more than 100 species of marine fishes to the list of “Threatened Animals”. Many of the world’s formerly productive fisheries are seriously depleted and some have collapsed due to overfishing”, says a report by Greenpeace. According to Greenpeace and a wide array of fisheries experts, the spread of large-scale factory trawling is the single most important cause of the pressure on fish stocks By-catch is the main cause of depletion of the North Sea herring population, which has fallen so precipitously that the European Union in the recent past cut the annual catch quota by half, from 314,000 tons to 156,000 tons.

It is reportedly learnt that European fishermen operate so-called beam trawler using a net arrangement that is devastating in the shallow waters they usually fish. In this kind of trawling, heavy chains are dragged over the sea bed to drive fish into the nets, destroying shellfish, worms, sea urchins and other bottom dwelling creatures. Precisely speaking, these boats have really “transformed fishing into an ocean-going strip-mining industry”.

As rich countries have depleted their stocks of fish they have imported growing quantities from developing countries that now catch far more fish than they used to do. According to calculations by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute, in 1995 fish exports from developing countries were worth $23 billion, more than their earnings from meat and cereal exports combined. But if overfishing continues, it could hurt poor countries, because their people rely more heavily on fish for protein than do the rich world dwellers.

Of course overfishing is not the only human activity that is jeopardizing life in the oceans. Coastal pollution, habitat destruction, filling in wetland and building dams is adding to the crisis. Some of the world’s most demanding and prized fish are on the verge of extinction. But in this case, other than blaming overfishing as the only one factor, we must remember that more damage is done by dams and pollution in the rivers and streams. The looming fish crisis in the Bangladesh Even more devastating is what we have done to the water cycle.

So large is the human demand for fresh water for different purposes that many great rivers like the Yellow River in China, the Nile in Egypt and in Bangladesh rivers like the Padma, Meghna, Dhaleshwari, Madhumati and old Brahmaputra have almost dried up or lost their original course because of formation of sandbars before getting to the sea. When diverted water is returned to waterways, it often comes back laden with noxious chemicals and sewage. Moreover, the building of 40,000 large dams worldwide has played a greater role in creating water scarcity and water stress.

Many such obstructions even in Bangladesh for flood protection, road construction and shrimp culture projects have converted most of such rivers into a series of interconnected lakes. Such a water system has dire consequences for thousands of species adapted to free-flowing water. The biggest source of coastal or river pollution is waste from farm animals, fertilizers and human sewage. They can spawn red tides and other harmful algal blooms that rob oxygen from the water, killing sea and riverine population, especially fish.

Improving sewage treatment and cleaning up the runoff from farms will be increasingly vital to preserving coastal water quality as well as sea wealth. It is true that because of excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides in the agricultural lands in our country food production has trebled but the harmful silt and run off from the high land streaming into rivers namely the Padma, Meghna, Rupsha, Buriganga, Shitalakhya and a host of other rivers have created spreading dead zones devoid of fish or any marine life.

Because of the alarming nature of river pollution, there has been a precipitous decline in Hilsa fish catches from the rivers Padma and Meghna. However, the fish resources in the Bangladesh’s territorial water zone in the Bay of Bengal remain vastly unexplored. Till now about 18 antiquated deep sea trawlers most of them 20 to 35 years old are engaged in deep sea fishing. The annual catch, it is learnt, is about 3. 8 lakh tons, presumably about six percent of the resources. But the country of rivers, haors and baors, once an abundant store-house of silvery protein is now facing acute fish crisis.

The country’s vast majority of the poor people are starved of the most essential but cheap protein. Fish stock or breeding of fish in the rivers and haors has been depleted because of pollution, sediment and contaminated run off from the degraded soil. Most river and ocean pollution come from land. Gravity is the sea’s enemy. Silt running off clear-cut forest land ruins fish and other water creatures either in the sea or river. Pesticides and other toxics sprayed into the air and washed into the rivers find the ocean as the last resting place.

Though the ocean’s woes can seem overwhelming, solutions are emerging and attitudes are changing. Most people have shed the fantasy that the sea can inexhaustibly provide food, dilute endless pollution and accept unlimited trash. In 1996 the US passed the Sustainable Fisheries Act, which mandates rules against overfishing — a recognition that protecting sea life is a good business. But measures have to be multiplied to meet the looming fish crisis. Bangladesh, the promise or challenge of aquaculture CULTURED shrimp is promoted as an alternative to the exhaustion of global fisheries.

The coastal zones of some tropical countries, including Bangladesh, are dominating the production of commercial shrimp, and export to the US, Europe, Canada, Japan and other wealthy countries. For many developing countries, including Bangladesh, shrimp has become a major source of foreign exchange and has integrated often previously marginal coastal communities into high value commodity networks. However, the producing countries are facing increasing challenges with international trade, particularly concerning “quality. “

It is observed that Bangladesh can easily earn about $2 billion from shrimp industry. While many neighboring countries such as China, Thailand and India are genuinely working with pragmatic plans and policies to capture the lucrative shrimp markets, Bangladesh, despite having enormous prospects are now grappling to survive with numerous problems and malpractices. Part of the problem is that about 80 percent; of the economic actors are living in poverty. Poverty is not simply low income or economic inequality, but rather a serious deprivation of certain basic capabilities and rights to improve.

For these people, when improvement means food, health, shelter and education for children, making waterproof floors in the depot, having running water on the entrance, as per international regulations, are last of the priorities. As a result, 70 percent; of Bangladesh shrimp industry operates within informal economics. Furthermore, Bangladeshi fishery exporter association (BFFEA), who are the major lobbying group for this industry, fails to recognize that the major weakness of this industry lies in the feed, chemicals and fry used as inputs.

These inputs are mainly imported from China. The use of low quality and often contaminated inputs resulting in low quality shrimps. This low quality shrimp gets low market price, which trickles down to the bottom of the supply chain. The industry needs comprehensive industry-wise strategies which will help to improve the conditions of economic agents at all level socially, economically, and politically. The recommendations for improving fisheries resources

The following proposals are a starting point to incorporate local socio-political considerations into industrial policy. To do so, the Bangladeshi government and researchers should undertake a household-level economic shock and vulnerability study to build a framework for national policy responses. First, policies should regulate, reward, and penalize private entities but should not try to compensate for economic shocks. If an unforeseeable crisis creates an economic shock requiring compensation, policy should not discriminate against affected actors in the industry.

For example, the entire industry suffered from the 1997 ban, but incentives were given to factory owners/exporters and not other actors. Recipients of government incentives should undergo third party audits verifying fulfillment of social and economic objectives, such as job creation, export growth, or technology improvements. Second, Bangladesh needs to improve import policies to ensure quality and appropriateness. Policy can support farmers by regulating imports for basic acceptability, such as shrimp fry and feed contamination screening.

Instead of government laboratories as the only check point, consumers of these imports should receive training, technology, and basic tools to test on their own. Third, counter-cyclical policies are needed to protect jobs and incomes and provide adequate social security in times of economic shocks and natural disaster. The finance ministry, industrial ministry, or land reform ministry should be tasked to include a complete cost-benefit analysis of the distributive effects of proposed budgetary, tax, or land reform initiatives that considers every group of the industry.

Fourth, collectiveness should be promoted in the bottom half of the supply chain. This largely informal segment should have greater incentives to collectively contest and resist exploitation and discriminating policies, but the informality of their business, continuous insecurity, and submission to local political power hampers their collective force. Lack of collective force translates to lack of political voice to represent their needs to the government and exporters. Fifth, Bangladesh should diversify trading partners to find policy maneuvering space.

Instead of depending on the US and EU, Bangladesh should focus more on under-exploited markets such as the Middle East and emerging markets in China and African nations. This will provide shrimp producers more space to improve their activities while seeking to venture into new markets. Sixth, countries like Bangladesh, with weak institutional support, need to thoroughly and carefully consider international insurance proposed for countries facing shocks from price swings and non-tariff barriers to trade.

Such insurance is designed to offset monetary shocks, but is not attuned to socio-political crisis that the poor encounter on a daily basis. Last but not the least, the Bangladesh shrimp sector needs immediate policies and programs in the following areas: Establishing research institutes to increase productivity and to invent cures for viruses, adherence to quality standards as required by the buyers, and negotiation and consultation with NGOs opposing shrimp culture. Shrimp Culture Bangladesh has a suitable weather and saline water for shrimp fishery.

We earn a lot of foreign currency by exporting fish particularly shrimp. For this reason, shrimp is called the “White Gold of Bangladesh”. The country is endowed with potential shrimp resources in all kinds of aquatic environments that is, country side fresh water area, coastal estuaries and seawater in the Bay of Bengal. With the rise in demand in the international market, shrimp has become one of the costliest items of fishery. A number of processing plants have been established to process shrimp for export. But supply of shrimp from natural resources, particularly from inland sources, has decreased.

As an alternative source, the government is encouraging coastal aquaculture of shrimp which is favored by productive tidal lands and a strong international market for shrimp. Government also assists to improve the coastal shrimp fishery. Shrimp culture is practiced mostly in the Sundarban estuaries in Khulna, and in the coastal area of Chittagong district in Chakoria Sundarban and salt beds in Cox’s Bazar, Moheshkhali and Kutubdia in brackish water. There are 51,812 hectares of brackish water ponds under shrimp culture in Bangladesh.

Creation of polders for protection against floods, tides and tidal bore alter the brackish water areas in different ways. A system of aquaculture practiced in tidal areas without any polders is known as bhery culture where low lying areas and rice fields are enclosed by small-scale embankment with an artificial channel system. In Cox’s Bazar, Chakoria Sundarban dikes are constructed around large areas of mangrove forest or any other type of otherwise unproductive land with several gates to control the flow of water in and out of the constructed farm.

Water with small shrimps is allowed to enter into the enclosure during the months of April, May and June and the gates arc closed. Harvesting is completed between July and October. Government has leased out the Chakoria Sundarban areas to private parties for shrimp culture. There is, however, a conflict between shrimp and rice culture because the harvesting season of shrimp, the planting season of aman rice and the stocking season of shrimp in rice fields overlap one another. Production of shrimp The production of shrimp has an important role on the economy of Bangladesh.

Though the production of this white gold of Bangladesh is affected badly but the production is increasing podition. From the source of Fishery Statistical Year Book 1999-2000 we get the information that Bangladesh produce increasingly production of shrimp this data is given below Economic YearProduction (Me. Ton) 1995-9668,349 1996-9779,020 1997-9888,018 1998-9990,076 1999-200092,448 2004-051,21,000 2006-071,45,000 Export of Shrimp The export of shrimp has an important role in the economy of Bangladesh.

The yearly earning of shrimp is increasing position now, though now this sector is facing some critical moment for the recent recession and some unconsciousness. The information of export earnings is given below Economic Year Export earning (Cr. Us$) 19814 1999-200032. 25 2003-200437. 80 Shrimp culture: Deaths or dollars? As time passed, shrimps began to show potentials as an important source of foreign exchange, accounting for, perhaps, 6 per cent of our export earnings and about 3 per cent of world exports of shrimps.

At global level today, about one-third of the shrimps are reported to be farmed here compared to barely 5 per cent in the 1980s. This is the dollar-side of the development. But the dark side should never be in oblivion. Since shrimp culture started to surge, however, local conflicts crept up with grabbing of land, environmental degradation developed, considerable numbers of people were dashed below the poverty line and a host of adverse impacts were impinged thereupon. The imputed costs of such hazards should be added to the revenue earnings to arrive at sustainable development of the sector.

There are many newspaper stories that we have been hearing for a long time about the socio-economics and politics of shrimp culture. In fact, if one scans through the news and views relating to deteriorating law and order situation in greater Khulna one could, perhaps, come to the conclusion that the lion’s share of these deteriorations owe to shrimp cultivation and related issues. Negative impact on socio-economic condition It is there where we can come across the ‘unknown’ costs of shrimp culture that CDP has been striving to dig out.

It goes beyond the calculus of the principles of profit maximization. We have observed newspaper clippings for August 2003. Throughout the month, cases of terrorist attacks, human rights violation and other vices surrounding shrimp culture are reported almost on every day. Only during the last three years, 55 persons were killed, and 42 incidents of assaults and 17 instances of poisoning of fish/shrimp ponds took place. After knowing about the horrors, we showed interest to focus on some shrimp ponds called Chingri Gher. priori reasoning suggested that people of villages where Chingri Ghers are located should be relatively better off than others since infrastructure development and other linkages connected with shrimp culture should shower positive externalities to the villagers (besides the fact that they could increase their earnings from the culture). Vast tracts of lands turned into ghers by developing polders. These are agricultural land that historically the people of that locality leaned on to meet the food security need by producing rice.

In the past, when cultivation of crops was the mainstay, ecological balance was maintained, indigenous technologies were adopted and an egalitarian approach to the preservation of common properties was in evidence. But gone are those days with the advent of shrimp cultivation. Unplanned growth of the projects, absence of proper regulations and above all, lack of governance grievously gave way to an unsustainable development This hypothesis turned out to be wrong as we studied the villagers.

People of the village seemed to be perturbed, panicky and powerless in the face of known man-made catastrophies. According to the information of the villagers three phases that shrimp cultivation passed through over time. First, there was a time when the owners of the ghers — with money and muscle power — used to grab lands of the poor without paying them a penny. This was the early stage of the so-called “blue revolution” and a business of the “big”. Second, then came a time when collective farming was developed in some places but the poor were deprived of their due shares from the farms.

And now, in many places, small farmers are themselves doing the cultivation — instead of renting out land — to eke out a living but problems mounted rather than mitigated. One example should suffice to show the severity. Recently, a 6 km long canal was occupied by goons to develop ghers and cultivate shrimps in the water of the said canal which is a common access resource passing through nearby villages. Water flowing to and from was stopped building barrages and thus causing a host of adverse impacts. The poor villagers objected to this barrage in the canal and are being threatened by the powerful mastans.

Some of the villagers were reportedly put under criminal cases. While the police were looking for those poor villagers to arrest, they were, allegedly, least interested to kick out the devils from the dens. Huge sums of money from the goons and the powerful gher owners force them to pay a deaf ear to the ‘development’ that took place in the canal. More interestingly, the day I visited the spot, the local MP came to the place to remove the barrage and thus allow the access to common resources by all people. This was an appreciable job done by the local MP.

But unfortunately, no sooner had he left, the villagers complained, the barrages inside the canal came up again. The rent from leasing out land for shrimp cultivation — Tk. 1200/bigha — is much less than that for rice cultivation. The soil fertility is seriously affected due to the intrusion of the saline water into the fields and the yield rate is down by 20-30 per cent. Witnessing a decline in the yield of agricultural crops and the lack of access to common resources, poor farmers are gradually forced to fall upon leasing out land for shrimp cultivation.

There are no winter crops anymore- pulses, oil seeds and vegetables and the collapse of the cattle raising has had serious economic and nutritional consequences not usually counted in the economics of shrimp culture. There have been many reports of khas lands (government owned lands) being used for shrimp farms illegally by influential members of the society, sometimes in possession of false property deeds, and in some cases with the support of the local police or government officials.

Violence and intimidation towards small-scale shrimp farmers in order to appropriate their lands is also reported to be widespread. And to visit some of the developing countries counting on shrimps, look at the following observation. “Shrimp farmers in Thailand left behind an ecological desert. These farms are hardly useful for other economic activities. Outside investors are enriched, local people are pauperised. Development runs above the heads — very little trickles down to them”.

Few years back, Bangladesh shrimp exports faced a shrink following EU objections to some of the aspects relating to production and distribution. Quite obviously, the buyers need not be blamed and gracefully some of our exporters took the pains to upgrade their processing plants and production process. The wakeup call helped create an atmosphere where the non-economic costs of shrimp cultivation deserve attention. The above-mentioned observations should not be taken as a negative attitude towards shrimp cultivation and export.

After all, we all want dollars but not at the cost otherwise. We want that the growth of shrimp cultivation should take place under a regime where (a) access to common properties are not encroached upon; (b) small farmers have the freedom to reap home the rewards from shrimp cultivation; (c) productivity of agricultural land is not adversely affected and (d) the rules of the game is such that both economic and non-economic costs are duly calculated to point to a sustainable development of the sector.

Negative impact on environment Shrimp fisheries have many notorious effects on environment by which our environment becoming a vulnerable position. These effects are given below a) The lessening of forest result in the spread of shrimp culture. b) Livestock grassing land declined by the extension of shrimp culture. c) Saline water for shrimp cultivation has not only destroyed the fertility of agricultural land but also damaged the bio-diversity and shrunk traditional poultry breeding. ) Another types of fish, tortoise, are in the way of extinction. e) The environmental degradation is acute. f) Shrimp culture is ecologically suicidal, socially impoverishing and economically unjust g) The appeal of rice production has lessened. i) Reduction in farming land. j) The crop field has lost fertility because of shrimp culture which thrives on labour exploitation, muscle power and terrorism k) Women workers at the shrimp processing plants are subjected to serious health hazards and inhuman working conditions. Recommendations

To this effect, many steps need to be on board but allow us to cite a few: (a) the industry should fully acknowledge its responsibility of using the best of resources to ensure environmental sustainability, economic viability and social equity; (b) there should be an unrestricted access for third party monitoring all aspects of production, distribution and technology used; (c) there should be improvement in pond designing, water exchange and pollution control; (d) existing farms should comply with national land use polices, strategies and legislation; (e) future development of the sector should be based on consultation with local community; (f) specific commitments to uphold human rights should be at the top of the agenda and finally (g) all farms should fall under the Seal of Quality to meet the environmental and humanitarian needs of the industry.

Everyday on average, one incident of death or other crime was reported to take place in greater Khulna. Perhaps this drives home the point that deaths and dollars have unfortunately become regular phenomena. The government should take the situation very seriously before the vital sector gets sick when, perhaps, deaths will occur but dollars would flee. Recession fears loom over shrimp exports The shrimp industry foresees the toughest time this year on a continuous fall both in the price and demand in the troubled developed economies, main consumers of the item, according to industry people. Buyers in the US and Europe are pressing Bangladeshi exporters to reduce the price of the item in the wake of a deepening financial crisis.

Some buyers even have showed their reluctance to receive the goods from their respective countries’ customs authorities without a reduction in prices. “I made a shipment to the USA last month, but the buyers asked me to renegotiate the price, without which he refused to receive the goods,” Kazi Belayet Hossain, president of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) told in a meeting with a daily newspaper. He also said “If we don’t reduce the price, buyers threaten to shift their orders to other countries. ” The central bank in its latest semi-annual monetary policy that was announced Wednesday also predicted a weak export demand for shrimps in the coming months on the continued financial crisis.

According to the industry, the price of shrimp has dropped by $1 per pound, or about Tk 155 per kilogram, in late 2008 compared to the 2007 price. In fiscal year 2007-08, the price of 16 to 30 grade shrimp, which accounts for around 65 percent of the total frozen shrimp export, ranged between $5. 20 and $5. 50, but now it has come down to as low as $4, marking a 30-32 percent decline, the BFFEA president said. Frozen food is the second highest export earner after apparels in Bangladesh. In FY 2007-08, the country exported frozen foods worth $534 million. The government set a target of $574 million for this fiscal year, but exporters made it at $600 million. Shrimp, which is considered as a luxurious product, alone accounts for over 80 percent of frozen food products.

The European Union, USA and Japan are the three main markets for Bangladesh’s frozen shrimp, with the EU and the US accounting for 48 percent and 40 percent respectively of the total exports. All the three destinations are now suffering acutely from financial crisis. The export price of frozen shrimp started falling on the fuel oil price hike in June 2007. And after the onset of recession in the USA and Europe, the price has taken a nosedive. “If the financial meltdown continues this year, no doubt the industry will be affected badly,” it’s the fear of the shrimp exporters. The price fall has resulted in stockpiles of shrimp for exporters. Some one crore people are directly and indirectly involved with the business concentrated in Khulna zone.

To face the situation, the association Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) has already requested the government to create an emergency fund for the shrimp exporters to protect them from liquidity crisis. BFFEA has asked the government to provide us interest-free loan as it was given in 2001 following the adverse situation stemming from the twin tower attack. BFFEA feared that the exporters would fall in a liquidity crisis of Tk 500-600 crore because of the adverse impacts of the global financial turmoil. According to BFFEA, formation of 40 percent interest-free block account facility for a period of four to five years will help the exporters sustain the situation. Conclusion Fisheries in Bangladesh have come a long way. Once dominated by small-scale capture fisheries, later by aquaculture, it is now poised for all round development.

The goal is to increase production of fish, manage and conserve fisheries resources to sustain benefits to present and future generations, to encourage private enterprise, increase overall economic growth, and generate employment and incomes, particularly for the rural poor and unemployed youth of Bangladesh. Government has expressed its intention to reorganize and restructure fisheries institutions and to focus its limited resources on research and tasks that support private sector development and NGO initiatives. Once unplanned, fisheries is now governed by a National Fisheries Policy (NFP) 1998, involving 8 sub-strategies and specific development interventions through action plans for each one of the sub-strategies. Once driven.

Largely by the government, fisheries in Bangladesh are now moving towards an era of progress with private sector playing the leading role through private-public partnerships and linkages. Reference 1. B. B. S (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics), 2006, Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh, 2006. 2. B. F. R. I (Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute), 2001, Review of the Recommendations of National Seminars and Workshops on Fisheries (1994-1999), The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. 3. Hossain, Mosharaff,1991. Agriculture in Bangladesh: Performance, Problems and Prospects, “Fisheries”, Chapter -5. 4. Internet http://www. mof. gov. bd/mof2/budget/07_08/economic_review/chapter_07. pdf Accessed on 27. 08. 08 5. Intermediate Technology Development Group- Bangladesh 6.

Ministry of Fisheries and Live stock, 2007, Fishery Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh, 2006-07. 7. Rahman, A. Atiq, R. Haider, S Huq, E. G. Jansen. “Fisheries and Environment”, M. Youssouf Ali (ed. ), Environment and Development in Bangladesh, Vol. 2. 8. T. F. R (Task Force Report)1991, Report of the Task Forces on Bangladesh Development Strategies for the 1990’s, “Fisheries”, Chapter -12. vol. 4 9. We also have visited “Department of Fisheries”. Where we have gotten various information of shrimp culture and others fisheries information. 10. The Daily Prothom alo 11. The Daily Financial Express 12. The official website of FAO, www. fao. org. com

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