Govt for boosting marine fisheries

The government has embarked on a massive project to improve the country’s costal and marine fisheries to boost the economy.The implementation of the project will help Bangladesh achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the stipulated time by tapping in the potentials of blue economy, authorities concerned hope.

The cost of the project is estimated at Tk 1,868.86 crore. The World Bank will give Tk 1,588.39 crore and the rest of the fund will come from the government exchequer. The objectives of the project include increasing coastal and marine fisheries’ contribution to the economy, reducing poverty, and achieving environmental stability.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has undertaken the project and department of fisheries and social development foundation will implement it by June 2023. The project will improve management of coastal and marine fisheries and aquaculture in the area. The authorities have selected 750 unions under 75 upazilas in 16 districts of four costal divisions.

The Bay of Bengal has 475 different species of fish and 36 species of shrimps, said State Minister for Fisheries Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru on Tuesday. In fiscal year 2017-18, 16 percent (6.5 lakh tonnes) of Bangladesh’s total fish production (43.34 lakh ton) came from the sea. At present, 2-3 percent of the global food supply comes from the seas, while in Bangladesh 5 percent of foreign exchange earnings are from fish exports and 4 percent of the GDP from fisheries.

Under the project community co-management associations with fishing communities will be established in 16 coastal districts in the country, enabling them to adopt supplementary and alternative livelihoods. Empowerment fishing communities, especially women through skill development and nutrition awareness, the project will also establish 100 model fishing villages on those areas.

The current fisher identity card system will be expanded under the project and will be linked with the geographic information system platform. Vessel registration and licensing for fishing will also be improved. In addition, the project will help the government conduct stock surveys and assessments for shrimp and sea fish stocks and strengthen monitoring systems for industrial and artisanal fisheries. The project has been approved by the executive committee of the national economic council (ECNEC).