IORA member – Bangladesh is the fifth largest aquaculture producer in the world, however, according to the researchers, the pandemic has negatively impacted the aquaculture supply chain and threatened the overall productivity of the fishing sector of the country.
The studies conducted with Bangladesh’s finfish farmers show that the national lockdowns caused the reduction in aquaculture production and consequently unemployment. The local middlemen have increased the prices for fish, and numbers of aratdar (middlemen) who sold fish from rural farms to urban areas are no longer in the market.
The researchers have also found that despite the price increase in popular finfish like pangasius and carp, the prices for tilapia and catfish have decreased slightly. Beyond all the troubles of the fishing sector, mortality in catfish has become another threat to Bangladesh’s aquaculture. The high number of severe mortalities are caused by some diseases in the cultural ponds of catfish and require comprehensive research to identify the source of the issue and offer an adequate solution.
To bring the aquaculture sector back to its dominant position, besides the Government’s urgent intervention to re-organize and stimulate it, Bangladesh can benefit from foreign investments.
WorldFish report on Aquaculture technologies in Bangladesh: An assessment of technical and economic performance and producer behavior identifies the constraints to aquaculture development, and the following are the requirements to awaken the fishing sector:
- High capital requirements to achieve higher levels of fish production,
- Regular use of feed, fertilizer, and other inputs,
- The high-quality seed for the suboptimal levels of production,
- Commercial pond-based technologies,
- And development projects and training to include women to support the sector.
These investments can advance the quality of Bangladesh’s aquaculture sector and elevate the quantity of the product as well.