A report published by the United Nations Development Programme (Aquaculture extension through trickle-down: Bangladesh) claims that Bangladesh is considered one of the most suitable countries in the world for aquaculture, because of its favourable agroclimatic conditions. Development of aquaculture has generated considerable employment through the production and marketing of fish and fish seed.
The revolution in water/aquaculture-based food production systems (the so-called “blue revolution”) in Bangladesh has achieved a 50 percent increase in aquaculture production, mainly as a result of new semi-intensive technology using locally available feed ingredients and other inputs. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been helping the government to develop and test this technology in different agroclimatic regions of the country. Householders have at least doubled their income from raising carp and other fish in traditional backyard pools.
According to a report published by Dr. M.A. Mazid, Director, Fisheries Research Institute, Mymensingh-2201, Bangladesh and Mr. M.G.M. Alam, Research Student, Tsukuba University, Japan:
In the agro-based economy of Bangladesh, fisheries play an important role in nutrition, employment and foreign exchange earning, contributing 4% to GDP, 10% to export earning, 73% to animal protein intake, in addition to providing 1.4 m people full time and 11 m part time employment. The vast water resources covering 4.3 m ha of inland water and 480 km coast line with sub-tropical climate, and suitable soil and water conditions offer a very high potential for fisheries and aquaculture development. Out of total fish production of 1.08 m tons, inland open water capture fisheries generate 51%, inland fresh and brackish water aquaculture 25% and marine capture 24%.
Production from inland open water capture fisheries is being depleted due to over-exploitation and habitat degradation. However, aquaculture production both from fresh water and brackish water which mostly follows traditional and improved traditional practices has been steadily increasing. Semi-intensive shrimp farming in a limited scale is a recent development where production of 3-5 ton/ha is being obtained. Production from improved traditional practices which comprises over 95% of the total shrimp farming is as low as 300-500 kg/ha. Aquaculture technologies so far developed and practiced in Bangladesh include polyculture of carps, integrated aquaculture, culture of tilapia and silver barb in seasonal water bodies, breeding and culture of various catfishes, culture of fish in pens, brood stock improvement and nursery management etc. These are very low input environment friendly sustainable technologies being able to produce 2-6 ton/ha or more depending on the management and culture practices with assurance of good quality produce.