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A.K.M. Aminullah Bhuiyan
Carp Culture Specialist Consultant, Second Aquaculture Development Project (ADB), Department of Fisheries, Matshya Bhaban, Dhaka.
S.N. Choudhury
Deputy Director, Department of Fisheries, Matshya Bhaban, Dhaka.



Asian Development Bank


Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation


Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere


Canadian International Development Agency


Centre for the Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific


The Danish International Development Agency


Department of Fisheries


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Flood Control and Drainage


Flood Control, Drainage and Irrigation


Fisheries Research Institute


Government of Bangladesh


International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management


International Development Research Centre


Ministry of Agriculture


Network for Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific


Non-Governmental Organization


Overseas Development Administration


For a sustainable aquaculture development the three inter-related aspects are:

- Production technology;
- Socioeconomic factors; and
- Environmental factors.

Sustainable aquaculture in Bangladesh has the potential to serve as a strong economic tool for rural development, ensuring social justice.

The detailed study of the various factors involved in freshwater aquaculture development reveals that the fish culture potential in Bangladesh is very high. The climate is generally favourable and the water area is extensive. There is always a market demand for fresh fish, enticing pond owners towards aquaculture venture. There is scope for increasing aquacultural production through semi-intensive or intensive culture technologies. Better lake management is now possible for ox-bow lakes. There are educational institutes to produce senior, trained, manpower. There are Governmental and non-Governmental organizations for effective transfer of technologies. Funds for aquaculture credit are also available.

Ponds and baors have mainly been included in this paper, as waterbodies which are aquaculturable for freshwater fish. Only occasional references have been made to waterbodies in the FCD/FCDI areas.

Despite the fact that the country has good freshwater aquaculture potential, this potential could not be fully utilized for various reasons. It has not been possible to bring many under aquaculture. The production rate is still far below than what it is in China and other South-East Asian countries. Similarly the majority of the ox-bow lakes could not be brought under improved management systems for various reasons. An effective management system is yet to be developed for the FCD/FCDI areas and burrow pits. To some people the main problem is biological or technological, to others it is sociopolitical or legal. After a detailed study, it appeared to the authors that in almost all the factors of development, there is ample scope for improvement. These are: natural resources; aquaculture technology and technology transfer; processing and marketing; fry and fingerling production; environment and disease; feeds and fertilizers; credit; human resources development; administrative needs of the organizations involved, etc.

Since the development process is an interplay between objectives, resources and measures, a careful analysis of the present situation in the country in all these has resulted in pointing out some management and other measures required to be taken.

To understand the management needs a bottom-up approach has been made: farmer's needs (technology, training and credit) are at the top and at the bottom are the universities which produce the required senior manpower. In between these two are the major activities that unite them in the overall aquaculture development process. Expected responsibilities to be carried out by different concerned organizations have been discussed and discrepancies pointed out.

The following recommendations are made:

a. Strategic: Besides some pertinent policy issues, it has been suggested that the freshwater aquaculture development process should adopt a phase-wise planning and implementation strategy. In the first phase (1996-2000) the target for the total production, from ponds and baors, has been set at 3.7 million tons (the 1993 production figure is slightly over 2.0 million tons). The same has been set at about 5.5 million tons at the end of the second phase (2001-2005). Average national productivity rate in ponds in these two phases is expected to rise to 2500 kg/ha/yr and 3700 kg/ha/yr, respectively, from the 1993 productivity rate of 1367 kg.

b. Implementational: Recommendations have been made in order to achieve the above stated targets in the specific fields of human resources development, research, transfer of technology, credit, fry and fingerlings, feed, fertilizer, better use of natural resources, and management needs.

Regarding management needs, two recommendations have been made, which are:

i) The expected role of different organizations involved in aquaculture development should be clearly defined and followed (detailed discussion, and suggestions are made in Chapter-4)

ii) The Department of Fisheries should play a stronger role in the aquaculture development sector and reorganize/rebuild its management wings (detailed discussion, and suggestions are made in Chapter-4)

c. The concluding recommendation seeks:

A national workshop to be convened as soon as possible, as a follow-up action to the present seminar, to work out details of the following to meet the impending challenge of phase-wise planning and implementation (Phase-1:1996-2000):

- Immediate short-term research and management needs.

- All kinds of inputs/assistance needed, including fingerlings and credit, and the measures to be followed to make these available.

- Training needs.


Sustainable aquaculture systems should be viewed in terms of three interrelated aspects:

- production technology;
- socioeconomic factors; and
- environmental factors, as depicted in Figure 1 below (after Anon 1987).

Figure 1. Interrelationship among various aspects of a sustainable aquaculture system.

1. Carp Culture Specialist

Consultant, Second Aquaculture Development Project (ADB), Department of Fisheries, Matshya Bhaban, Dhaka

2. Deputy Director

Department of Fisheries, Matshya Bhaban, Dhaka

The contribution which aquaculture already makes to the total fish production of Bangladesh is not insignificant, 237,743 tons or 23.29% of total production (DOF 1993), but as vast possibilities are as yet not fully utilized, it is the authors' contention that when properly planned, coordinated and integrated, expansions and improvements in the field of aquaculture will assist greatly in achieving the aims of rural development.


2.1 Resource potential
2.2 Production potential PONDS

2.1 Resource potential

2.1.1 Natural resources
2.1.2 Aquacultural technologies
2.1.3 Processing and marketing
2.1.4 Spawn/fry and fingerlings
2.1.5 Human resources
2.1.6 Environment
2.1.7 Organizations involved in aquaculture development
2.1.8 Credit facilities

2.1.1 Natural resources

Bangladesh, located as it is in the delta of three mighty rivers: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna, has vast inland water resources in the forms of ponds, beels and haors (natural depressions), boors (ox-bow lakes), canals, rivers, flood plains, reservoirs and impounded brackishwater. The inland water resources of Bangladesh can be divided into the following categories:


- Rivers, streams and canals, including estuaries,
- Beels and haors
- Lake Kaptai


- Ponds
- Ox-bow lakes, or boors
- FCD/FCDI areas and burrow pits
- Coastal aquaculture (brackishwater)


- Flood plains
- Inundated paddy fields

Open inland and seasonal waters consist mainly of capture fishery and closed waters, mainly of culture fishery. The present paper deals with closed waters only, excluding coastal aquaculture. The extent of each of the different types of closed waters is detailed below:


Bangladesh has got a large number of ponds scattered all over the country. The total area of freshwater ponds is about 0.15 million ha, representing 3.53 per cent of total inland water resources excluding FCD/FCDI and burrow pits. The size of the individual ponds varies between 0.02 ha and 20 ha. The total area of ponds by region are presented in Table 1. The DANIDA experience in the Mymensingh region, however, suggests that the actual number of ponds could be well over 1.6 million instead of about 1.3 million ponds as is presently known. SPARRSO (1984) estimated the area of derelict, cultivable and under-cultivation ponds to be about 43 per cent, 30 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. After about ten years, these percentages have tilted considerably towards under-cultivation ponds, now being 17per cent, 31per cent, and 52 per cent respectively (DOF 1993).

Table 1: Total area of ponds in different regions of Bangladesh


Area (ha)

per cent of total area





























































Source: DOF 1993.

Baors or Ox-bow Lakes

In the southwest region of the country, some of the meandering rivers, becoming old, changed their courses and, in the process, left ox-bow bends, which got cut-off from the main river courses and became isolated, forming baors or ox-bow lakes.

There are 37 large ox-bow lakes, covering an area of about 4000 ha, and 50 smaller ones in Jessore, Kushtia, Faridpur and Khulna. Most of the larger ox-bow lakes are located in the Jessore region. The distribution of ox-bow lakes in different regions are given in Table 2. Ox-bow lakes range in size from about 25 ha to a maximum of 500 ha (Hasan 1990).

Table 2: Distribution of ox-bow lakes in different regions


Area (ha)

Per cent of total area
















Source: DOF 1993

FCD/FCDI areas and burrow pits

The total area under this component is estimated to be 0.7 million ha, of which 7000 ha area is now under being developed under different projects for integrated aquaculture. Data regarding the area of waterbodies under burrow pits could not be obtained. (Details of FCD/FCDI areas may be found in the paper by Ayenunnishat (?)).

2.1.2 Aquacultural technologies

A total of 257 species of fish have so far been recorded in the freshwaters of Bangladesh (Rahman 1974). It is estimated that about 200 of these species are truly freshwater forms (Islam 1989) and the rest are estuarine and marine forms that enter rivers and other freshwater areas during certain periods of their lives. With the exception of a few, most of the 257 species are available in the impounded waterbodies. However, at present, only major Indian carps, such as Catla (Catla catla), Rohu (Labeo rohita,) Mrigala (Cirrhinus mrigala) and Kalbashu (Labeo calbasu), along with exotic carps such as Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix). Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) and Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), are commonly cultured in a polyculture system in ponds. The other two Chinese carps, Bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) and Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus), are also cultivated, but to a lesser extent. Very recently, African catfish (magur), and freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) have received considerable response from aquafarmers. There are some other species, too, which are occasionally cultured.

Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and Silver barb (Puntius gonionotus) are cultured in small waterbodies, such as ditches, and shallow ponds and burrow pits.

Indian major carps, Chinese carps, catfish and small indigenous fish are grown in ox-bow lake aquaculture.

The species cultured in Bangladesh freshwaters are summarized in Table 3.

Table 3: Species cultured in Bangladesh and their culture systems


Common name

Culture system


Freshwater Fish

Catla catla


Pond/Baor culture


Cirrhinus mrigala


Pond/Baor culture


Labeo calbasu


Pond/Baor culture


Labeo rohita


Pond/Baor culture


Ompok pabda

Butter catfish

Pond culture


Pangasius pangasius

Pangas, catfish

Pond culture


Pangasius sutchi

Pangas, catfish

Pond culture


Clarias batrachus

Asian catfish

Pond/Baor culture


Clarias gariepinus

African catfish

Pond culture


Heteropneustes fossilis

Shingi catfish

Pond culture


Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

Bighead carp

Pond/Baor culture


Ctenopharyngodon idellus

Grass carp

Pond/Baor culture


Cyprinus carpio var. Comminus

Common carp

Pond/Baor culture


Cyprinus carpio var. Specularis

Mirror carp

Pond/Baor culture


Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

Silver carp



Mylopharnygodon piceus

Black carp

Pond/Baor culture


Puntius gonionotus


Pond/Baor culture


Oreochromis niloticus

Nile tilapia

Pond Rice-field/cage



Red talapia



Amblypharyngodon mola


Pond culture


Freshwater Shellfish

Macrobrachium rosenbergii

Giant f.w. prawn



Macrobrachium malcolmsoni

Monsoon river-prawn



Lamellidens marginalis

Freshwater clam

Pond culture


Several aquaculture systems have been successfully operated in Bangladesh, although not all of them of equal intensity. The systems include:

1. Carp (both Indian and Chinese) polyculture without galda. (Macrobrachium rosenbergii)
2. Carp (both Indian and Chinese) polyculture with galda
3. Integrated fish (fish-cum-duck/chicken) farming
4. Rice-cum-fish farming
5. Artificial breeding and culture of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)
6. Culture and seed production of galda in ponds
7. Culture of nilotica and red tilapia
8. Culture of magur (Clarias batrachus), pabda (Ompok pabda), gulsha (Mystus cavasius)
9. Culture of raj punti (Puntius sp)
10. Artificial breeding and culture of pungas (Pangasius sutchi) in ponds (mono and mixed culture)
11. Cage and pen culture
12. Mono and mixed culture in seasonal ponds
13. Culture of mola (Amblypharyngodou mola) and dhela (Danio rerio) with carp
14. Artificial propagation of Macrobrachium rosenbergii in backyard hatcheries
15. Induced breeding of major carps
16. Feed development
17. Nursery operations for galda, major carps, catfish (local and exotic)
18. Genetic considerations in hatchery stocks
19. Rice-cum-shrimp farming
20. Improved baor management, etc.

2.1.3 Processing and marketing

In Bangladesh's freshwater culture fishery, the main processing activities involve drying and icing, both as a means of prolonging shelflife of the harvested fish, although people predominantly favour fresh fish or unprocessed fish. The process of drying also adds a piquant flavour, which is again liked by a good number of consumers. Icing is practised on a very limited scale.

Maintaining the quality of harvested cultured freshwater fish has, so far, not proved to be a problem. The quality control mechanism for exported marine and coastal products, including shrimp, is well-established in the country, but for domestic marketing of fish there is no such system. Surveillance of fish markets by government officials is only sporadic. This is mainly because of the scattered locations of the ponds and their closest markets, where the harvest is, generally, consumed.

2.1.4 Spawn/fry and fingerlings

Effective technologies are now available for commercial production of carp and catfish. Breeding technologies for major carps and catfish, specially African magur, have now been fully accepted at the field level. Breeding technology of galda is known and, besides Government effort, some private entrepreneurs are going in for this business although the commercial viability is yet to be achieved.

Data on production of African magur fry could not be obtained. The other major source of aquaculture, and by far the largest one, the carp spawn/fry, is the most important factor in determining the success of freshwater culture. Millions of eggs and spawns are collected from the rivers during the monsoon (April-August). They are mostly found in the Padma - Brahmaputra river system (i.e., Padma, Jamuna, Arial Khan, Kumar and old Brahmaputra rivers) and the Halda river in Chittagong. Carp spawn/fry are collected from the Padma-Brahmaputra river system, whereas fertilized eggs are collected from the Halda river.

In 1993, the spawn collection in Bangladesh was estimated to be 3439.93 kg from the Padma-Brahmaputra river system, 1629.12 kg from the Halda river and 48,964.22 kg from all hatcheries; they contributed respectively 6.37 per cent, 3.01 per cent, and 90.62 per cent of the total spawn supply (54,033.27kg) for aquaculture in the country (Table 4).

Table 4: Production of carp hatchlings in Bangladesh (1993)

Production sources

Quantity of hatchling, produced (Kg)

% total production

A. Natural sources



B. Artificial sources



(i) Govt. hatcheries


(ii) Fisheries Research Institute


(iii) Private hatcheries






Source: DOF 1993.

Although modem techniques of fish seed transportation - in polyethylene bag filled with oxygen and in fish hauling tanks with agitator and oxygen supply - are practised in large hatcheries and fish seed multiplication farms, the major quantity of fish seed are transported by indigenous methods.

Together with the growth of carp hatcheries, there has been a major expansion of private nursery operations in different parts of the country. Hatchlings, collected from natural sources or produced by induced breeding, are reared for one to three months in earthen rearing ponds to a size of about 6-12 cm before being sold. Apart from private nursery operators, fingerlings are also being produced in different Government Fish Seed Multiplication Farms.

2.1.5 Human resources TRADITIONAL VALUES

The Bangla proverb Mache bhate bangalee, i.e., a Bengali thrives on fish and rice, amply demonstrates the tremendous social value of fish in Bangladesh. Unlike many developed and developing countries of the world, the demand for fish is always there. There is no need for advocacy for fish consumption, as a sizeable and permanent market is there. An overwhelming majority of the people in Bangladesh like almost all the culturable freshwater fish species. HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

A good number of institutes in Bangladesh are engaged in imparting aquacultural education and training to the intended persons as summarised in Table 5.

Table 5: Fisheries education and training programmes in Bangladesh


Course title


Course details

Certificate, diploma and training programmes

Fisheries Training Institute, Chandpur, DOF

In-service training Certificate

Variable 1-3 months

In-service training on fish culture management and administration for Fisheries Officers

Fish Hatchery and Training Centre, Raipur, DOF



Fish culture and hatchery technology

Fisheries Training Centre, Faridpur, DOF



Fish culture and fisheries management

Agricultural Extension Training Institute: 12 centres at different places in Bangladesh. MOA


1-3 months

Training on fish culture as one of the components of Agriculture for farmers and Agricultural Officers

Marine Fisheries Academy, Chittagong, BFDC


1-2 years

Training on marine fisheries, including navigation, marine engineering, electrical engineering, refrigeration engineering, radio and operation, trawl operation, fish processing and as boatswain.

Vocational Youth Training Centres




Undergraduate and postgraduate degree programme

Faculty of Fisheries, Bangladesh Agricultural University

B.Sc. Fisheries (Honours)

4 years

A professional degree course covering all aspects of fisheries

Faculty of Fisheries, Bangladesh Agricultural University

M.Sc. (Fisheries) in Fisheries Biology & Limnology Aquaculture & Management, Fisheries Technology

1 year

Postgraduate degree programme by course work and research

Institute of Marine Science, University of Chittagong

M.Sc. (Marine Biology)

2 years

Postgraduate degree programme by course work and research

Department of Zoology, Universities of Dhaka, Rajshahi and Jahangirnager

M.Sc. (Zoology) in fish group

1 year

Postgraduate degree programme by course work and research or only by course work ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN AQUACULTURAL RESEARCH

There are three major types of research for the promotion of aquaculture, and they may be viewed in sequential stages in an essentially farming systems framework. They are:

- Situation appraisal
- The development of appropriate technology, and
- The dissemination of technology to farmers.

Research of all three types is required to develop sustainable aquaculture systems. The main task of conducting such research and development activities has been bestowed upon the Fisheries Research Institute. The Institute is an autonomous research organization linked administratively with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock of the Government of Bangladesh. Of its four research stations and two substations, the Freshwater Station located in Mymensingh is mainly concerned with freshwater aquacultural research.

Besides the FRI, universities, specially the Bangladesh Agricultural University, are involved in fisheries research, but on a limited scale. At BAU, the Faculty of Fisheries, as expected, is mainly concerned with fisheries research, but the Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology and the Department of Agricultural Extension (Faculty of Agriculture) are also conducting some important fisheries research, dealing mainly with the aspects of socioeconomics and transfer of technology. The Departments of Zoology in Dhaka, Rajshahi and Jahangirnager Universities and the Institute of Marine Science, University of Chittagong also are involved in such research work. And Khulna University has become involved in fisheries research and education recently.

The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council is the national body for co-ordination, monitoring, and evaluation of all aquaculture research, its fisheries wing in particular being charged with the responsibility.

In addition to these national bodies, some international organizations such as CIRDAP, FAO, ODA, DANIDA, World Bank, NACA, CIDA, IDRC and ICLARM are, to some extent, involved in action-oriented research programmes in the form of studies of different development aspects of aquaculture.

2.1.6 Environment

The climate of Bangladesh, in general, is very favourable for freshwater aquaculture. Except for the drought situation in the northwestern region of the country, mainly due to low rainfall and the negative impact of the Farakka barrage, and overflooding in some other parts, the country enjoys a congenial environment throughout the year to support aquaculture.

On the other hand, most types of freshwater aquaculture, it is felt, are not harmful to the environment. The impact of the production of phytoplankton, through all the aquacultural systems practised in Bangladesh, is enormously beneficial to the environment. The potentially negative environmental impacts of freshwater aquaculture consist essentially of its contribution to aquatic pollution.

Adequate information on the impact of environment on aquaculture and vice-versa is not available. Nevertheless, it is satisfying to note that the situation is changing very fast. Everybody related to the development of aquaculture is, nowadays, becoming more and more concerned and is trying to do something about it. Although how far we can balance our environment is the key question asked by all, the fact that the importance of understanding the environment is not being felt by all concerned is, undoubtedly a positive factor towards ensuring sustainable aquaculture development.

2.1.7 Organizations involved in aquaculture development

Several organizations in the country are involved in different degrees, in the various activities related to aquaculture. Universities head the list because they are responsible for producing senior trained manpower (teachers, researchers, planners, managers, trainers and, occasionally, farmers) through their formal educational degree programmes. Universities also conduct research and are also involved, to a lesser extent, in training, planning for aquaculture development, and extension. Vocational training centres, such as the Youth Development Training Centre under the Ministry of Youth, mainly produce farmers. They engage in training programmes and are, in this way, involved in extension. The Department of Fisheries (DOF) has responsibilities in planning, extension, and in providing in-service training. NGOs are generally involved in training, extension, and to a much lesser extent, in research. In recent years, NGOs in Bangladesh have been becoming a strong and effective medium for successful transfer of technologies and for providing credit for aquaculture. They have nine different types of fisheries programmes (Shah 1995). Pond fisheries is the most common. A considerable number of NGOs (29 per cent of those studied) have initiated hatchery/nursery components in their activities. The range of various fisheries activities has been found to be the widest amongst the international NGOs (e.g., CARE and CARITAS). Local NGOs are not able to cover more then two activities. Various international organizations sometimes act as funding sources, but in many cases, they are directly/indirectly involved in the aquaculture development and extension activities, too. Table 6 provides a list of the major organizations now involved in aquaculture development, in various ways in Bangladesh:

Table 6: List of major organizations and the nature of their involvement in freshwater aquaculture development in Bangladesh



A. Government


Department of Fisheries (DOF)

Development, management and extension


Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC)

Production (Kaptai lake) and marketing


Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC)

Coordination, monitoring, and evaluation of aquaculture research


Fisheries Research Institute (FRI)

Research, training and coordination


Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB)

Fisheries component of integrated rural development


Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD)

Fisheries component of integrated rural development


Land Administration and Land Reform Division

Leasing of public waterbodies


Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDP)

Leasing of reservoirs, irrigation canals and burrow pits


Export Promotion Bureau



Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC)




Higher fisheries education


Economic Relations Division

Administration of external aid for aquaculture development


Commercial banks

Credit for fish culture

B. Non-Government

Aquaculture extension and development (with or without supervised credit programmes)


Bangladesh Rural Advanced Committee (BRAC)


Grameen Bank




Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)


Proshika Monobik Unnayan Sangstha


Association for Social Advancement


Gono Unnayan Prochesta




Jagorori Chakra


Thengamara Mohila Sobuj Sangha (TMSS)


Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Services (RDRS)


Gandhi Ashram Trust


Centre for Alleviation of Rural Poverty (CARP)


CARE, etc.

C. International

Mainly aquaculture extension, development, and information dissemination. To a lesser extent, training and research












World Bank




WFP, etc.

2.1.8 Credit facilities

In all agricultural activities, credit plays an important role and, therefore, has become an integral component of the overall scheme to accelerate rural development in Bangladesh. Increasing credit is one of the policy instruments considered necessary to facilitate technology transfer, stimulate productivity, generate employment, and increase income.

In Bangladesh almost the entire institutional credit for the aquaculture sector is provided by:

(1) Government owned agricultural banks

- Bangladesh Krishi Bank, and
- Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank

(2) Commercial banks

- Sonali Bank
- Janata Bank
- Agrani Bank, and
- Rupali Bank;

(3) Cooperative bank

- Bangladesh Samabaya Bank Ltd;

(4) NGOs

- Grameen Bank
- Proshika
- Gono Unnayan Prochesta
- BRAC, etc.

(5) Development projects

- IDA-financed shrimp culture project
- ADB-financed Second Aquaculture Development Project
- DANIDA-supported Aquaculture Development Projects
- ODA-supported NWFP, and other projects.

Government-owned agricultural banks and commercial banks operate with the usual collateral/mortgage system. NGOs, however, do not depend on collateral or mortgage for ensuring repayment of an extended loan; they rely on an intensive supervisory system. On the other hand, the development project-funded schemes operate with or without any interest under an extensive supervisory system involving both selected NGOs and government staff.

The Government of Bangladesh is well aware of the credit need. In its Fourth Five-Year Plan (1990-95), it has paid special attention to increasing the flow of fisheries credit to the fisheries sector and particularly to the underprivileged groups.

2.2 Production potential PONDS

Country production figures show that 202,167 tons of fish were produced in ponds in Bangladesh during 1992-1993, about 19.8 per cent of the total country production (DOF 1993). The same source reports an average annual catch of about 1,376 kg/ha from ponds. It is the contention of the authors, based on field observations, that the current production rate in ponds may exceed 1500 kg/ha. (Statistics are not available to indicate the amount of pond water area under different aquaculture practices.)

About 80 per cent of the pond production is major carps and catfish (mainly magur). Proven aquaculture technologies now available for major carps and catfish can produce 3-tons (even more) of fish easily. Nilotica, rajpunti, pangas, etc., the other preferred culturable species, can also be grown at the same range of production rate. These species account for about 90 per cent of total freshwater aquaculture production in Bangladesh.

On the assumption that 80 per cent of pond water area will be brought under aquaculture with these species and an easily achievable target of at least 3 tons/ha, Bangladesh production would then rise to 352,536 tons. The remaining 20 per cent of pond water area could, with miscellaneous culturable species and a modest target of 1.5 ton/ha, produce another 44,067 tons, making the total country production from ponds alone 396,603, say 400,000 mt, annually. This means that appropriate technology is available at present to double pond production. With better management, average production rates of both major and miscellaneous species could in the near future be raised to, on an average, 4 tons and 2 tons respectively. This would mean a country production from ponds of nearly 530,000 mt annually.


Baor production in 1992-93 was reported to be 1,803 tons with an annual production rate of 329 kg/ha. It has been reported that the yield in one baor (Baluhar baor: 281 ha) was raised from 118 kg/ha to over 900 kg/ha between 1981-82 and 1984-85 by stocking 13 cm carp fingerlings (FAO/UNDP 1986). The same report felt that, under proper management, an enduring average yield in the range of 600-800 kg/ha should be obtainable from the ox-bow lakes of Bangladesh. With a total area of 5488 ha and a 600 kg/ha annual production rate, a total production from baors of about 3300 mt, almost a two-fold increase from the 1992-93 production, is achievable.


It has been estimated that Bangladesh's paddyfields cover an area of about 8 million hectare. Fish production in inundated paddyfields is at present, mainly a subsistence capture fishery and, generally, no culture measures are taken. However, paddy-cum-fish culture is now considered an ideal method of land-use. Fish culture in paddyfields has enormous potential in Bangladesh and the present low yield could be increased to 250kg/ha/crop by adopting scientific management practices. Even if just 5 per cent of the total paddyfields were brought under paddy-cum-fish culture (especially in places where the fields become inundated or are irrigated), the total annual production obtainable from this scource alone could be 200,000 mt of fish.


3.1 Objectives of aquaculture development
3.2 Resources available for freshwater aquaculture development

The detailed study of aquaculture potential made in Section 2 reveals that the fish culture potential in Bangladesh is very high and several factors favour the realisation of this potential. But for various reasons, freshwater aquaculture potential is not being fully realized.

Bangladesh has not been able to bring a large number of ponds under aquaculture. The production rate is still far below than what it is in China and in the Southeast Asian countries. It has not been possible to bring all the ox-bow lakes under proper aquaculture management. An effective management system is yet to be developed for the FCD/FCDI areas and burrow pits. To some people the main problem is biological or technological, to others sociopolitical or legal, yet to others, all these have their place in the overall problem. In order to achieve maximum results, the various factors governing production and their interplay must be studied and appropriate steps taken for their integration. Development through production increase is an interplay between objectives, resources and measures. Let us examine these separately.

3.1 Objectives of aquaculture development

As aquaculture production can be increased to a considerable extent, properly planned and managed development of it should be able to contribute considerably to an increase in protein food supplies at affordable prices. By improving the physical well-being and quality of life of the rural poor through fisheries production, their productivity level and ability to contribute to the national economy can be increased. As Bangladesh is predominantly a rural country and aquaculturable water bodies are overwhelmingly situated in the rural areas, the development of aquaculture can become synonymous to rural development provided it is seen in the perspective of integrated rural development.

In Bangladesh, freshwater aquaculture is still being treated largely as a separate or isolated entity. The various conflicts - social, technological, or resource-related - are, therefore, hindering the process of sustainable development of aquaculture.

3.2 Resources available for freshwater aquaculture development

3.2.1 Natural resources
3.2.2 Technological developments
3.2.3 Environment and disease
3.2.4 Inputs supply
3.2.5 Human resources development
3.2.6 Credit
3.2.7 Administrative needs of the organizations involved in freshwater aquaculture development

3.2.1 Natural resources

Not all ponds are equally suitable for all kinds of aquaculture systems. As far as a pond as a natural resource is concerned, soil type, local climate, geographical location, size, depth and water-holding capacity; water availability and localized environmental impact are some of the major determinants for consideration of suitability of the water body for a particular aquaculture technology.

In many of the ox-bow lakes, introduction of better management practices involving external planned stocking of fingerlings of allowable fish species may be the only option. In some other lakes, it may be possible and profitable to introduce pen or cage culture systems side by side with the general stocking practice. In these circumstances, introduction of a particular aquaculture technology without looking into the physical condition of the pond or lake is bound to fail or result in less profit.

It is, therefore, necessary for the extension person concerned to be well acquainted with the physical characteristics (and the chemical characteristics of the soil and water) of the ponds and lakes under his domain before he recommends a particular technology.


Aquaculture technology may be conveniently divided into three main aspects:

- Cultured species;
- Culture facility, and
- Husbandry.

Culture species determines the facility, and the facility chosen limits the species choice. Species and facility together determine husbandry practice. The interaction among the three aspects determines the selection of a technology to ensure sustainable profitability of the practice through increased productivity.

For the same aquaculture system, there may be more than one technology available. For example, the carp polyculture system has at least six different models. Which one should be recommended? This type of situation may create confusion and even frustration among extension personnel. Therefore, it is desirable that the number of technology models for a particular kind of activity should be as few as possible. However, this does not, and should not, mean that there should be only one model; after all, the different models have been developed to adapt to different situations, such as the socioeconomic condition of a particular farmer, water quality and geographical location of the pond.

Available models or technologies should, therefore, be tested by a single authorized body and a short list prepared for the use of different organizations. The type of water or nature of region best suited for a particular model should also be recommended by this body. All extension personnel involved in the development of aquaculture should be able to fully comprehend the underlying philosophy of all the recommended models.

A technology to be generally transferable to intended farmers should have some flexible and universal characteristics which will enable it to be adapted to variable situations. Situations that hinder the transfer, generally, are:

- Multiple ownerships;
- Size of the pond;
- Other uses of the pond water;
- Inability to closely supervise pond activities;
- Age of owners;
- Main occupation of the owners;
- Lack of finance;
- The educational level of the owner;
- Efficiency of the extension agent;
- Effectiveness of the extension system;
- Availability of various inputs.

A participatory approach, whereby local fishermen can effectively play a role both in the decision-making and implementation processes concerned with ox-bow lake management, can help overcome the problems that may arise during introduction of a better management system. PROCESSING AND MARKETING

Freshwater aquacultural products are largely consumed as fresh fish through the local market. However, a significant portion of these products need to be processed, either through icing or, to a lesser extent, drying. Icing facilities are not available equally throughout the country, thereby compelling a farmer to sell his products in the local markets, as he cannot take his produce to distant wholesale markets where he could make a greater profit. Sale of freshwater aquaculture products is still a problem in remote areas where communication is poor and local demand limited.

Selling prices of the produce have a decisive influence on the economics of aquaculture. Principally, there are two ways of improving the profitability of the industry: either on increasing the sale prices; or by the culturist getting a greater share of the final sale price. These, however, are not always realistic alternatives, for, in most cases there are many small farmers and considerable competition, and the individual fish farmer consequently has very limited possibilities of influencing the final market price. Then again, as pond-reared fish are often the same species as fished in inland or coastal waters, the consumer can easily substitute other types offish products for pond fish. And the marketing of carp is particularly difficult during October and November when these fish are also caught in floodplains all over the country. FRY AND FINGERLING PRODUCTION

Almost all the ponds in Bangladesh are rain-fed, have greater fluctuations of water depth, and there is practically no facility of water manipulation in the ponds. These factors limit the scope of intensive aquaculture in Bangladesh. However, these ponds are better suited for semi-intensive and extensive aquaculture. To introduce semi-intensive freshwater aquaculture with a production target of a minimum of 3 ton/ha/yr, from a pond, the stocking density for the ponds would have to be about 10,000 fingerlings per hectare water area. Simplifying the problem, if we consider the entire 146,890 ha of pond water area, the requirement of 4-5 inch fingerlings of different species, but mainly carp, would be 1468 million annually. If we consider the loss of fingerlings due to rough handling during transportation and release in ponds, at least another 20 per cent is required to be added, making an annual requirement of about 1800 million fingerlings for pond aquaculture alone.

In addition to this, we need fingerlings for baors, floodplain fisheries, FCD/FCDI fisheries, and other miscellaneous fisheries. The total requirement is yet to be determined based on the type of water body, its location and quality, and the aquaculture systems to be followed. But if necessary steps are not taken to increase fry/fingerling production, it is likely that smallscale aquaculture will suffer at the cost of other fisheries specially the floodplain fisheries.

Another problem is fingerling production. Both the size of the fingerlings to be produced and the number required are yet to be firmly established. It has been observed that carp fingerlings of 2 inch size are being sold to farmers from even government seed centres, inspite of the fact that there is strong advocacy for the use of 4-5 inch fingerlings for aquaculture purposes. It is also observed that in many areas, farmers stock 1-inch fingerlings in their ponds. If fingerlings are to be restricted to a minimum of 4-inch size, a planned fingerling development strategy has to be developed throughout the country, by which quality fish fingerling can be supplied largely from local sources. Nevertheless, it has been observed that regions like Jessore, Bogra and Comilla are producing fry/fingerlings in quantities more than the local demand. Fry/fingerling handling during transportation to other places and their subsequent release, however, need to be significantly improved. At an estimated production of 150,000 4-inch fingerlings per hectare and two cycles of production a year, 6,000 ha of suitable waterbodies would be required for the production of 1800 million fingerlings.

Production of carp fry through induced breeding has made real progress in Bangladesh. But in the absence of policy guidelines, production of fry is not based on any local need assessment. While large-and medium-sized government hatcheries may be used to produce fry for fingerling stocking in open waters exclusively, besides offering some to private farmers, private hatcheries, medium- and small-sized, can cater for local requirements. Thana-wise need assessment studies are required to be made, taking into consideration the type and nature of waterbodies and the culture technologies suitable for the ponds in the particular thana. Big hatcheries can, and should, modernize their fry handling and transport systems in order to reduce the mortality to an acceptable range. On the other hand, mainly due to the prevailing socioeconomic condition, the indigenous method of transportation in rural and remote areas are expected to continue for a considerable period of time. While extension efforts should be aimed at making the hatchery/nursery operators aware of the bad effect of indigenous methods, an alternative solution to the problem should simultaneously be found. One solution would, perhaps, be, not to allow more than one medium- or small-sized hatchery to be built in one thana. If demand is high, a single hatchery can cater to the needs of the particular thana alone in which it is situated, or it can reach out to the farmer/nursery operators of adjacent thanas. Either way the transportation problem will be significantly reduced. An adequate number of nurseries should therefore be encouraged in each union to reduce the need for long hauls of fingerlings.

3.2.3 Environment and disease

The environment exerts a major influence on aquaculture. Interaction between aquaculture and changes in the environment induced by human activities is becoming increasingly important in Bangladesh.

Examples of the impact of the environment on aquaculture are the various types of pollution from urbanization, industrialization, and intensification in aquaculture which cause stress in fish beeding, reduced growth, disease, mortality and contamination of surviving stock. The situation in Dhanmondi Lake in Dhaka city is a typical example of pollution due to urbanization. Aquaculture in Bangladesh faces high risks as the country suffers perennially from floods and droughts. It is, thus, important to offer pond preparation and production models which are well adapted to flooding and dry season risks.

Acidic soil in certain areas and sandy soils in other areas of the country are also a constraint to aquaculture development. The use of pesticides and fertilizers in ricefields is increasing daily in Bangladesh, where 4000-5000 tons and 242 different types of pesticides are used annually. The use of pesticides is important for crop production, but improper doses or unapproved chemicals are harmful to fish and other aquatic fauna. In a survey conducted in Bangladesh, it was revealed that the killing of fish with pesticides occurs mainly as a result of;

- The use of pesticides in improper doses;
- The use of banned chemicals; and
- Aerial spraying of chemicals for mosquito control (FAO/NACA 1995).

On the other hand, aquaculture may exert a diverse range of impacts on the environment. For example:

- Eutrophication of water and sediments from discharge of aquaculture farm effluents, particularly from intensive aquaculture systems (e.g., integrated fish-cum-duck/chicken farming);

- Misuse of chemicals in disease treatment, with potentially adverse effects on fish production, product residues and farm worker health;

- Reduction of biodiversity due to introduction of exotic species and use of toxicants to kill the predators or so-called wild fish; and

- The production of potentially toxic blue-green algal toxins in eutrophic ponds.

Social conflicts due to water becoming unusable for various other purposes because of the use of manures and fertilizers, and non-availability of pond water for other purposes, such as agriculture, are also increasing.

There is a need to gather quantitative and qualitative information on both the impact of the environment on aquaculture and the impact of aquaculture on the environment. Any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study in the country should henceforth consider major freshwater aquaculture development programmes.

Disease in freshwater aquaculture mainly results from two causes:

- Degradation of natural balance of the environment; and
- Intensification.

Practising good husbandry is the best way to keep away most diseases experienced in the field of aquaculture. However, once disease strikes, it has been observed that it becomes very hard to find a suitable 'doctor'. The mechanism of developing disease experts and proper diagnosis systems is yet to be effectively developed. With the growing inclination of all concerned towards greater intensification of aquaculture systems, both frequency and intensity of disease occurrence are bound to considerably increase. Therefore, it is important to take necessary administrative measures to strengthen the field of combating disease.

3.2.4 Inputs supply

Besides fish seed, the two most important inputs required for more intensified aquaculture are feed and fertilizer.

In Bangladesh the typical freshwater culture systems are extensive or semi-intensive polyculture systems with some supplementary feeding and fertilization. The goal is to bring all the ponds under aquaculture, preferably semi-intensive aquaculture.

Semi-intensive aquaculture practices could differ from each other in:

- The degree of management;
- Provision of feed (supply of direct feed, or through plankton production);
- The stocking density; and
- Yields.

A national body could define, periodically, the intensity level to be followed by all the extension personnel.

Feed ingredients that are predominantly used in Bangladesh are rice bran, wheat bran, mustard oilcake and seasame oilcake, although as many as 83 different types of ingredients, of both plant and animal origin, could be listed as potential feed ingredients in Bangladesh (Bhuiyan et al. 1989).

Inorganic fertilizer use mainly follows the N-P-K regime, for which Urea, TSP and MP are used. Cowdung and, to a lesser extent, poultry manure are used as organic fertilizers.

Without understanding the intricate role of supplementary feeds in the nutrition of the cultured organism in a particular pond or culture system, and the differences in the requirements of all these inputs, which, again, are bound to differ, depending on the geographical location of the water body, it is hard to quantify, to an acceptable level, the annual requirements of each of the feed and fertilizer ingredients. Feed and fertilizers are both required to intensify the system in order to increase profitability. If available manure alone can supplement inorganic fertilizers, that will be an added benefit. However, since manure has other important uses in the country, a balanced use of both organic and inorganic fertilizers, along with supplementary feed, seems to be the best option.

It is, therefore, necessary to first select the technologies to be used in a particular thana eco-system, based on which the requirement of different feed fertilizer ingredients may be determined. Compilation of thanawise requirements can provide practical information regarding the country's requirement. This information is an indispensable tool for planners.

Farmers need to be trained in the preparation of farmer-made aquafeeds, as the use of commercial feeds will be uneconomical for freshwater aquaculture farmers. They need to be made aware of locally available ingredients and simple but effective feed preparation processes.

Another recent problem is that of the presence of SSP (single super phosphate) in the market. Either the import of SSP should be banned or farmers, especially aquaculture farmers, should be educated about the negative impacts of using SSP in place of TSP.

3.2.5 Human resources development

Figure 2. Activities in freshwater aquaculture development, and the professionals involved.

As seen in the Figure 2, universities are mainly responsible for producing senior trained manpower (teachers, researchers, planners, managers, trainers, etc.) through formal education programmes. It is felt by many that the curriculum development process in the universities should involve a more participatory approach, in the absence of which their graduates become unable to handle field situations at an acceptable level. The situation/demand in the field also changes rapidly and it is often seen that inflexibility of the curriculum development process of the universities results in not keeping pace with the ever-changing field demand. Once a university is committed to educational development, a team of technical specialists, specialized in field situations, should collaborate with the university in defining and meeting the university's curriculum development needs through a problem-posing and -solving approach.

The DOF is, by far, the single largest employer and, as such, it is the biggest training institution in the country. On reviewing the performance of the field level officers, it is felt that they should be further trained in a purpose-oriented and coordinated manner. The Fisheries Training Academy, which is under implementation, can play a vital role in conducting exclusive training to acquaint officers with the new/emerging technologies. All the aquacultural development projects/programmes should, in fact, have their own training programmes, with or without the help of the FTA, to familiarize the implementing officers with the technological as well as management philosophies of the projects.

Transfer of technology is another important activity in aquaculture development. This process depends on two factors: the inherent usefulness and adaptability of the technology itself, and the efficiency of the extension officers/workers in preparing the recipients, i.e., the prospective fish farmers, so that they can fully assimilate the technology and effectively utilize it. Farmer development is again dependent on trained manpower, which is produced by the universities. Appropriate technologies which can be transferred are the product of good researchers who are the products of universities.

3.2.6 Credit

As capital is often scarce in rural areas, problems over finance and the need for credit schemes often arise. Institutional credit is an essential prerequisite for every phase of the aquaculture industry. It has been observed in Bangladesh that, so far, large farmers have been the main beneficiaries. Most small farmers have limited or no access to institutional credit, most of which is short term credit.

Providing security is always a problem with small fish-farmers and some kind of arrangement has to be made to guarantee loans to them for investment and working capital. It should also be accepted that credit administration costs are relatively higher for smaller loans. Recent experience suggests that supervised credit is at present the only alternative now available to replace the traditional ways of providing security, namely collateral or mortgage.

The productivity of the fish-farmer will be considerably enhanced if he is provided with a comprehensive package of advice and assistance ('technology package'), of which supervised credit should be a part. Commercial banks (CBs) will have to introduce supervised credit systems. They need to develop their fisheries manpower to fully comprehend the biotechno- and socioeconomic background of a particular credit package programme, and to effectively work with field officers of different aquaculture development agencies.

The development projects, on the other hand, should have a clear stand on credit availability. These projects are intended to develop technology packages containing both technical advice and institutional credit on reasonable terms for investment as well as operational purposes. While the technological advice in such packages should be exclusively provided by the DOF itself, the credit should be channelled through CBs having adequate and competent manpower, or through proven NGOs. A joint team of DOF and NGOs, or DOF and CBs, should work in the transfer of technology packages. As long as the CBs are not capable of becoming flexible and competent enough to work in field situations, a DOF and NGO team should be the preferred partner in the transfer of a technology package.

3.2.7 Administrative needs of the organizations involved in freshwater aquaculture development

Apart from the universities, the other organizations playing a major role in freshwater aquaculture development in Bangladesh are the Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), the Department of Fisheries (DOF), the universities and NGOs. The FRI is involved directly in research and development activities, whereas the DOF's involvement is in the transfer of technology through extension and management services. NGOs, as a whole, are becoming more involved in the transfer of technology than in the development process. They are doing this either independently or in association with the FRI (mainly in on-farm testing of an evolved or developed technology) or the DOF (mainly as the local extension agents). International organizations are also involved in the process, but not independently; they work under the provisions of the Government or NGOs.

Although all these organizations are administratively independent of each other, the common field of their activity (freshwater aquaculture development) has made them interrelated and, to some extent, interdependent. An absence of effective coordination among these bodies, which is an oft-alleged problem is, therefore, bound to result in failure to harness the maximum benefit achievable from aquaculture development. The aspects of effective coordination, and some improvement needs of individual organizations, therefore, are the principal basis for the following suggestions on aquaculture management schemes.


4.1 Responsibilities
4.2 Notes on responsibilities
4.3 Coordination and strengthening of DOF activities related to national aquaculture development¹

4.1 Responsibilities

Figure 3. Major responsibilities to be carried out by different organizations in order to meet the aqua-farmer's needs.

4.2 Notes on responsibilities


- The curriculum development process should be more dynamic, field oriented and should be based on a participatory approach involving outside experts in the team. Management aspects of haor, baor, FCD/FCDI areas and burrow pits - should be adequately reflected in the course curriculum.

- Should conduct research work, mainly, during postgraduate studies, and joint-studies with other organizations, but, in principle, should not be involved in field level extension works.

- Should participate in the Advisory Board of the DOF (discussed later), the FRI research management body and the SSC/HSC (fisheries) curriculum development processes.

Research Organizations

- The FRI's responsibility should be only to conduct R&D activities. On-farm testing should be considered a part of the overall research programme.

- The FRI should participate in the Advisory Board of the DOF and the Universities' curriculum development process.

- BARC (Fisheries Wing) activities need to be further geared for better coordination, monitoring and evaluation of all the fisheries research work being carried out in the country.

- BARC shold participate in the Universities' curriculum development process and the DOF advisory board.

Department of Fisheries

- The DOF should form a decision making advisory board with the participation of all concerned, such as the FRI, BARC, universities, CBs, NGOs and BFDC. The advisory board will fully depend on its proposed 'Monitoring and Evaluation Wing' for taking decisions.

- It should further strengthen extension personnel training programmes by giving the Chief Fisheries Extension Officer's office a strong institutional shape. AFOs and FAs should be properly utilized in extension activities.

- Fish seed production, and fish health and disease are two neglected fields in the DOF, which need to be developed.

- The DOF should participate in the universities' and SSC/HSC (fisheries) curriculum development processes and in the FRI research management body.

Non-Governmental Organizations

- They should, for maximum benefit, use technologies recommended by the DOF (through the Technology Cell).

- They should be represented in the DOF advisory board and FRI research management body.

- If required, they should participate in the on-farm testing of the technologies evolved/appropriated by the FRI.

- They should utilize their administrative flexibility to organize demonstration/extension farmers to disseminate technology and to realize loans.

- They should consider extending credit support.

Commercial banks

- The CBs should follow a supervised credit system. Such a system would be expected to remove many of the problems arising from the field of aquaculture due to the prevailing socioeconomic conditions of prospective aquafarmers.

- Accordingly, they should strengthen the manpower needed to look after aquaculture ventures.

- They should participate in the DOF advisory board.

4.3 Coordination and strengthening of DOF activities related to national aquaculture development¹

(¹Other activities, in addition to aquaculture development, will also be served by such schemes.)


(2To be headed by DG, DOF, and have representation from FRI, BARC, Universities, NGOs, MOFL, Planning Ministry, BFDC, CBs, etc.)



- Natural and Development Resources Cell (NDRC) (to maintain detailed up-to-date information about these resources.)

- (DOF may have other offices, but the following offices are proposed, either to be newly created or further strengthened.)

- Technology Cell (TC) (to select and recommend various technologies.)

- Office of the Chief, Fisheries Extension Offices (CFEO).

- Credit Cell (CC) (to assess credit needs, suggest measures for supervised credit and monitor utilization and recovery.)

- Office of the Chief Fish Health Officer (CFHO).

- Human Resource Cell (HRC) (to assess training needs, monitor related activities and evaluate performance of trained personnel.)

- Office of the Chief Fish Seed Officer (CFSO).

- Project/Programme Cell (PC) (to assess the need for new projects/programmes; evaluate the progress of under-implementation projects/programmes; keep a record of projects/programmes of others e.g. NGOs and their performances.

- Environment Cell (EC) (to do all that is necessary to carry out EIA studies, and look into other environmental issues.)

- Production and Marketing Cell (PMC) (to deal with all kinds of production and marketing information/statistics; exercise quality control of fish and fishery products; collect export statistics of fish and fishery products; assess import needs of aquaculture-related inputs and harvesting gear.)

- Socioeconomic Cell (SC) (to conduct studies on the impact implementation of projects/programmes have had on farmers and fishing communities.)

Notes on Monitoring and Evaluation Wing

1. This wing will be headed by a Director.

2. Each individual cell will be headed by a Deputy Director.

3. Each of the cells will maintain close contact with the related organizations and may ultimately team together formally to secure all the required information.

4. All the cells will build strong databases of their own.

Notes on Execution Wing

1. Office of the Chief Fisheries Extension Officer (CFEO)

This office is not new but needs to be strengthened in the following ways:

CFEO (one for the country)

- Will be of the rank of a Deputy Director and stationed at H.Q., DOF


- Will coordinate, monitor and evaluate nationwide extension activities and report periodically to the Advisory Board

SFEO (Senior Fisheries Extension Officer; one for each division)

- Will be of the rank of a DFO, preferably a senior one, and stationed at the divisional H.Q.


- Will coordinate, monitor and evaluate extension activities in the division, in association with the concerned DFOs, and report periodically to the CFEO

FEO (Fisheries Extension Officer; one for each of the selected thanas)

- Entry level officer stationed at the DFO office - and in selected cases in the TFO office, too.

- Will assist the DFO in implementation, monitoring and evaluation activities of the district and report periodically to the SFEO

(The thana will be the centre of all extension activities. The TFO, along with his deputies i.e., AFO and FA, will perform his duties under the guidance of the DFO. In some thanas, where the situation demands extra hands, a FEO may be posted to assist him.)

2. Office of the Chief Fish Health Officer (CFHO)

This is a new proposal to meet the field demand for quality service in the field of fish health and disease, and may be developed gradually in the following ways:

CFHO (One for the country)

- Will be of the rank of a Deputy Director, stationed at HQ, DOF.


- Will supervise and coordinate activities of all the divisional offices.

- Periodically report to the advisory board.

SFHO (Senior Fish Health Officer, one or two for each division)

- Will be of the rank of a DFO, and stationed at the DD Office.


- Those of the present senior officers of DOF who have best exposure to fish health/diseases will be hand-picked.

- Later, as demand grows in Chittagong and Khulna divisions, there may be two SFHOs, one for finfish and the other for shellfish.)

FHO (Fish Health Officer, one for each district)

- Entry level officer, to be stationed at the DFO office, who has better exposure to fish disease problems, having a related academic background and/or in-service training in fish disease and good husbandry practices.)

- Only the divisional offices, for the time being, will develop small but useful laboratories for the diagnosis of diseases and to help with health-related activities.

3. Office of the Chief Fish Seed Officer

This is a new proposal to meet the growing field demand for greater quantities of quality fish seeds of cultured species as culture practices intensify 'seeds' includes both fry and fingerlings.

In future, all fish seed farms, including hatcheries, may be brought under the administrative authority of this office.

CFSO (One for the country)

- Will be of the rank of a Deputy Director, stationed at HQ, DOF.


- One of the most senior officers in DOF, with wide-ranging experience in hatchery and nursery operations.

- Will coordinate nationwide activities with regard to fish seed production and distribution.

SFSO (Senior Fish Seed Officer; one or two for each division)

- Will be of the rank of a DFO, and stationed at the DD Office. Will look after related needs for the division.


- Will be selected from among the present senior officers of the DOF who have the best exposure in hatchery/nursery operations.

- Later, as demand increases in the Chittagong and Khulna divisions, there may two SFSOs, one for finfish and the other for shellfish.

FHO (Fish Seed Officer, one for each district)

- Entry level officer, stationed at the DFO office

- Will do everything required to meet the district requirement for fish seed.


5.1 Strategical
5.2 Implementational
5.3 Concluding recommendation

5.1 Strategical

1. An integrated approach, that takes into account both the technical aspects of aquaculture development and the socioeconomic needs of the farmers and fishing communities, to be followed to ensure sustainable integrated rural development. Technical aspects to include, inter alia, environmental considerations.

2. The role of the various organizations in the development of freshwater aquaculture to be clearly defined.

3. Detailed and up-to-date information on all aspects of aquaculture development, and effective coordination among the organizations involved, to be the basis for proper management of resources and administration of activities.

4. Consideration to be given in aquaculture plans, to the lifestyle and social and vocational needs of local people in villages/towns, to avoid conflicts.

5. Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP) to be insisted upon for larger units and self assessment/monitoring for smaller units, subject to verification at inspection.

6. NGO participation in aquaculture development activities as complementary to Government efforts, to be encouraged.

7. Besides ponds and baors, the management aspects of unconventional waterbodies in FCD/FCDI areas, such as burrow pits, paddyfields and haors, should get immeditate attention. These should be seen as potential waterbodies for significant increase in production. A participatory approach should be the guiding principle in introducing better management practices in these waterbodies.

8. To bring all the ponds and baors (and related waterbodies) under effective aquaculture systems, a fiveyear phased plan should be adopted.

5.2 Implementational

5.2.2 Specific recommendations

5.2.1 PHASEWISE TARGET PHASE-1: 1996-2000 Ponds

The areas under 'under cultivation', 'culturable' and 'derelict' to shift from 52 per cent, 31 per cent and 17 per cent to 70 per cent, 25 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

- Average production rate (per hectare, annually) to be 3.0 tonnes in under-cultivation ponds (semi-intensive), 1.5 tonnes in culturable ponds (extensive), and 0.5 tonnes in derelict ponds (natural/extensive).

- Total country production from ponds to rise from 202,167 tonnes to 367,225 tonnes, following an increase in country average production rate of 2500 kg in place of 1367 kg. Baors

- The average production rate to increase from 329 kg to 600 kg per hectare annually.
- The concomitant total production to increase from 1803 tons to 3293 tons annually. PHASE-2: 2001-2005 Ponds

- The areas under 'under-cultivation', 'culturable' and 'derelict' to shift from 52 per cent, 31 per cent and 17 per cent to 85 per cent, 14 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

- Average production rate (per hectare, annually) to be 4.0 tonnes in under-cultivation ponds (semi-intensive); 2 tonnes in culturable ponds (extensive/semi-intensive); and 0.6 tonnes in derelict ponds (natural - extensive).

- Total country production from ponds to increase from 202, 176 tonnes to 541, 436 tonnes following an increase in production rate from 1376 to 3700 kg/ha/yr. Baors

- The average production rate (per hectare, annually) to increase from 329 kg to 900 kg.
- The resultant total production from baors to rise to 4939 tonnes from 1803 tonnes.

5.2.2 Specific recommendations HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT

- Universities' curriculum development process should be participatory in nature and more dynamic in implementation.

- Institutionalization of training for aquaculture and industry.

- Training of scientists in specific disciplines and specialization, as well as interdisciplinary training.

- Training of planners, developers and managers.

- Training of teachers in specialized fields.

- Imparting training skills in trainers.

- On-site training of farmers.

- All such training to give equal emphasis to technical as well as human aspects of a total training programme. RESEARCH

- Research programmes for developing aquaculture should be given a high priority and should comprise of both bio-, techno-, and socioeconomic problems.

- Aquaculture system research on a holistic basis.

- Comparative economics with environmental audit of different culture systems/technologies/models.

- Research on need for, and judicious application of, drugs and chemicals where necessary; the residual effects; withdrawal time; safe environment; and safe products.

- Research on feed technology vis-a-vis environmental health, giving importance to farm-made aquafeed development.

- Genetic and biotechnology interventions for stock and production improvement which might relieve pressure on environmental impact.

- Research on disease-free and disease-resistant stock, and fish disease itself.

- Research on need for and judicious application of fertilizers, lime, etc.

- Assessment of need to use MP fertilizer and its appropriate required dosage. TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY

- Technologies to be followed should be selective. These technologies will get Government support.

- Technologies to be transferred should be in a package form, to be named 'Technology Package', and will include technology, training and credit support.

- NGO participation complementary to Government efforts, particularly in this activity, should be encouraged. CREDIT

- Provision of credit should be considered a natural part of the Technology Package.
- Financial support should be in supervised credit form.
- NGO participation complementary to GOB/CB effort should be encouraged. FRY AND FINGERLINGS

- Policy on fry and fingerling production and distribution should be based on local (union) need assessment study.

- All concerned should engage themselves, on a priority basis, in making farmers aware of the importance of stocking 4-5 inch carp fingerlings in their waterbodies.

- If the beel nursery programme is to continue, then the required fry should be exclusively supplied from the Government's large hatcheries. Small Government and private hatcheries should cater mainly to local needs. FEED

- Instead of commercial feeds, the use of farm-made aquafeeds, using locally available ingredients, should be encouraged. Farmers should be trained to use this. In this training, the importance of quality feed ingredients and proper storage of ingredients/feed should be adequately highlighted. FERTILIZER

- If adequately available organic manure should be preferred to inorganic fertilizers.
- Farmers should be made aware of the negative impact of using SSP in place of TSP. NATURAL RESOURCES

- Detailed survey on pond, baor and related waterbodies' culture needs to be updated with regard to, inter alia, number, area, status of use, uses of water, socioeconomic condition of pond-owners/farmers and fishermen, water retention, water sources, productivity, suitability of particular aquaculture systems/technology, and local environmental issues.

- Regionally (that is, districtwise) gathered information on the above points, particularly with respect to natural resources, should be compiled.

- Physical development of waterbodies should be a part of the management strategy. MANAGEMENT NEEDS

- The expected role of different organizations involved in aquaculture development should be clearly defined and followed (detailed discussion, and suggestions are made in Section - 4).

- The Department of Fisheries should play a stronger role in this sector and reorganize/rebuild its management wings (detailed discussion, and suggestions, made in Section - 4).

5.3 Concluding recommendation

A national workshop to be convened early, as a follow-up of the 1995 seminar, to work out details of the following:

- Immediate short-term research and management needs;

- Inputs/assistance needed, including fingerlings, credit, and measures to be taken to ensure their availability;

- Training needs.


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