One-third of ponds not used for fish farmingMd Owasim Uddin Bhuyan
In sharp contrast with the current trend in many Asian countries which grow farmed fish in traditional-small-scale systems that benefit local communities, one third of ponds in Bangladesh are not used for scientific fish farming.
Fish farming in all the ponds and dighis in the country, using modern technology, would multiply production, said fisheries officials.
They said that there could be no justification to keep a third of the country’s ponds unused even though the supply of cultured fish varieties has significantly increased in Bangladesh in last 30 years.
And according to the Fisheries Department the ponds in the country cover 3.71 lakh hectares.
Fisheries Department officials said that the supply of cultured fish from ponds increased particularly of pangash, koi, singi, magur, tilapia, swarputi and several carp variety including rohu, katla, kali baush, silver carp and grass carp.
Per capita annual fish consumption in Bangladesh is estimated at 18.94 kg against the demand of 20.44 kg.
According to officials fish supply from the ponds has increased to 13.42 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 fiscal from 5.61 lakh tonnes in 1999-2000.
Officials also said that the supply of fish from ponds, dighis, baors and shrimp ghers increased by three and half times in last three decades.
The supply of fish from closed water bodies like ponds, dighis, baors and shrimp ghers increased by 53 per cent in 2011-12 compared to 1983-84, said officials.
They said that 15 per cent of domestic fish supplies in 1983-84 came from the closed water bodies.
When asked, Fisheries Department chief fisheries extension officer Krishnedu Saha, told New Age that about 70 per cent of the country’s ponds are used for scientific fish farming.
Fish farmers are getting conscious about modern fish farming to boost production, he said.
Fisheries extension officials said scientific fish farming in ponds could increase production to four or five tonnes per hectare from two to two and a half tonnes.
Discovery Fisheries and Agro Farm Limited managing director MM Faridul Islam Carter said his company supplied live fish from different ponds around Dhaka and the nearby districts to markets in the capital.
Almost all fish variety are now cultured in ponds throughout the country, he said, making it easy to get supplies of live fish.
He said his business was growing rapidly.
Pangash, swarputi, telapia are popular among cultured fish supplies from Mymenshingh, he said.
And cultured kali bahush, singi and magur supplies from the northern districts, said Carter.
Better road and highway communication free from traffic hassles would boost this business tremendously, said Carter.
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