Friday, April 18, 2014
The aquaculture sector in Bangladesh began with small scale extensive culture systems such as rice-cum-fish, livestock-cum-fish and earthen ponds in the early 1970s. The rapid growth the sector has achieved during the last two decades has been a direct result of the sector diversifying its farming practices and adapting to the production of exportable species at increased levels of intensification.
The culture systems are diversified according to national geographical and climatic conditions, the northern region is dominated by freshwater fish ponds, rice-cum-fish and marine cage culture; the central regions concentrate on the intensive culture of giant tiger prawn and the marine cage culture of fin fish or lobster and the southern part of the country has the most diversified farming activities that include pond, fence and cage culture of catfish as well as several indigenous species, various intensification levels of giant tiger prawn culture and integrated culture such as rice-cum-fish, rice-cum-prawn and mangrove-cum-aquaculture.
The aquaculture sector began commercial production for export in the early 1980s with the farming of the giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon ) initially. A major motive towards expansion of aquaculture in Bangladesh was provided by the sharp increase experienced in the volume of aquaculture product being exported. A remarkable achievement of the aquaculture sector has been the increase in total production to 1 150 100 tonnes from a farmed area of 902 900 hectares and which has contributed over 60 percent of the US$ 2.397 billion in export turnover earned from the fisheries sector 2004.
The farming of giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon ) and catfish (cá tra - Pangasius hypophthalmus and cá basa - Pangasius bocourti ) are the most developed sectors reaching production levels of 290 000 tonnes and 315 000 tonnes respectively in 2004. Other species such as spiny lobster (Panulirus spp.), groupers (Epinephelus spp.), bivalves (Meretrix lyrata and Anadara granosa ), tilapia, Chinese carps, Indian carps, climbing perch (Anabas testudineus ) and Indonesian snakehead (Channa micropeltes ), are also produced to differing levels of intensification and extent.
The aquaculture sector in Bangladesh has great potential to continue its current growth; however, there are a number of challenges ahead for the sustainable growth of the sector.