Native fishes return

Revive the waterbodies to increase production

Published : 26 Feb 2022 08:27 PM

It is good news that the native fishes are now found in abundance in all the rivers, haors, canals, beels and other waterbodies across the country. The government’s measures to spread out the indigenous species of fish all over the country have been able to bring back the endangered indigenous fresh water fishes.

Over the past decade, many native delicious fishes continued disappearing from the country’s rivers, haors, canals, beels and other waterbodies due to the use of chemical fertilisers, unplanned use of land, shortage of ponds, siltation of rivers, canals and other water bodies, indiscriminate and unabated catching of fish fries and adverse impact of climate change. Besides, agro chemicals destroyed the breeding grounds of the fishes endangering their existence.

As the native fish species, particularly the small ones, cannot take food for lack of zooplanktons, they cannot properly grow and breed. In consequence, we had to face serious scarcity of the native fish species. But as per the prime minister’s instruction, the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute, the Fisheries Department, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and agriculture universities have brought a massive success in protecting the country’s endangered indigenous fresh water fishes through different initiatives including conducting research. Coming out of the traditional methods, the government is now adopting developed and modern ones to protect local species of fishes from extinction.

The government should take necessary steps

to revive the waterbodies to increase  

production of native fishes

Bangladesh ranked second position in growth rate of producing freshwater fishes according to a report of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. Our country is enriched with 265 species of freshwater fishes which have a huge demand at local and international markets. Fish traders are supplying these delicious fishes to many places of the country including capital city Dhaka, other metropolitan cities and district towns after meeting the local demand. Therefore, now we can eat our native delicious fishes as these species are now being sold in the country’s all fish markets at reasonable prices.

Apart from government’s initiatives, private organisations will also have to come forward in releasing fish fries into the natural open waterbodies, setting up fish sanctuaries for protecting brood-fishes during their breeding period and beel nurseries for rearing small native fishes in the down-stream areas to increasing production of native fishes in the natural open water bodies of the country. Besides, people will have to be discouraged to catch fishes aggressively and indiscriminately from rivers and waterbodies.

During the dry season, local people catch all varieties of fish from water bodies withdrawing water from them and they indiscriminately catch all mother fishes. Such trend must be stopped immediately to help the government create a favourable condition for native fishes. Besides, the conservation of rivers and wetlands like khal, beel, haor and baor to protect the species is a must. Simultaneously, unchecked use of agrochemicals and overfishing will also have to be stopped.  Last but not least, the government will have to revive the waterbodies such as pond, khal (canal) and beel to increase the production of fisheries.