The production of popular fish hilsa in the district has increased by 22 percent in last three years, said speakers at a discussion marking the inauguration of National Fisheries Week-2013 in the city on Tuesday.
However, different species of indigenous fishes are heading towards gradual extinction mainly due to massive water pollution and adverse climate change effects, they said.
The theme of the week — ‘Machhe Machhe Bharbo Desh, Gorbo Sonar Bangladesh’ aims at encouraging people in developing fisheries to boost fish production for the country’s economic development.
Barisal Deputy Commissioner (DC) Md Shahidul Alam inaugurated the week, leading a road rally and releasing fish fry at Bangabandhu Udyan Lake in Barisal city Tuesday morning.
On this occasion, district administration and fisheries directorate jointly organised a discussion at Ashwini Kumar Hall with DC Shahidul Alam in the chair.
Md Nurul Amin, divisional commissioner, Dr AKM Aminul Huq, deputy director of fisheries directorate, Md Wahiduzzaman, district fisheries officer, leaders of fishermen’s association and representatives from different government and non-government organisations related with fishery participated in the rally and addressed the discussion, among others.
Production of hilsa increased by 22.48 percent — from 22,500 tonnes in 2008-09 to 29,021.35 tonnes in 2011-12, fisheries directorate officials said at the discussion.
During the same period number of shrimp farms increased from 1,389 to 1,749 and shrimp production increased by 291 percent — from 126 tonnes to 367.4 tonnes in the district.
Fisheries sector contribute some 4.3 per cent to the national GDP and 22.76 per cent to the agricultural GDP, fisheries officials said at the discussion.
Some 32.62 lakh tonnes of fishes were produced during 2011-12 fiscal year, contributing 60 per cent of animal protein and three per cent of export earning of the country, they said, adding that production of 34 lakh tonnes of fishes is expected during 2012-13 fiscal year.
Bangladesh was a land of rivers, canals, wetlands, water bodies and due to its natural characteristics and geographical location; people could depend on fishery resources.
Dr AKM Aminul Huq, Barisal divisional officer and deputy director of fisheries directorate, said no survey could be conducted to assess the fish resources in the Bay of Bengal after the independence due to lack of research and survey vessels.
Now a process is underway to procure a research and survey vessel with cooperation of Islamic Development Bank and Malaysian government within ten months, he said.
The programmes of the ongoing fisheries week include a five-day fish fair, road procession, boat procession, seminar, essay and art competitions for students, fish fry release at some important spots and publicity.
Source: The Daily Star