Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government has decided to revive water bodies across the country to boost fish production.
“We have already taken decisions to bring back all of our water bodies such as pond, khal (canal) and beel to their earlier state to increase fish production,” she said while inaugurating the “National Fisheries Week-2019” in the capital’s Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB).
The government has already instructed the authorities to take prompt measures to this end, she said.
Calling upon all to not keep any water body unused, the PM said the government had taken “My House, My Farm” project to meet the demand of fish.
State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru and Secretary of the ministry Raisul Alam Mondal spoke on the occasion.
A video presentation of the country’s success in fisheries and livestock was also screened.
Earlier, Hasina distributed the “National Fisheries Award-2019” among 17 institutions and individuals for their contributions to the fisheries sector.
She later opened a fair on the KIB premises.
Hasina has called for greater emphasis on production, processing, and marketing of fish, stressing the need for pisciculture to meet the national demand for protein. “We have to increase the fish production for our socio-economic growth.”
The PM said she believed that fish could become the country’s main export item if the country ensured sustainable use of its aquatic resources and wetlands.
Hasina also mentioned that the fisheries sector met 60 percent of the national demand of protein.
Bangladesh has potential of fisheries resources in the sea which needs to be extracted, she said, adding, “So, the government has put emphasis on blue economy.”
Laboratories have been set up in Dhaka, Chattogram and Khulna to maintain an international standard of fish and fish products, Hasina added.
The PM stressed the importance of maintaining an international standard of fish and fish products for export as riverine Bangladesh could grab the first position in the world in producing fish from inland water bodies, UNB adds.
She also underscored the need for dredging of rivers to maintain biodiversity as well as help boost fish production.
“We can solve the malnutrition problem of the country’s people through boosting fish production.”
The PM said livelihoods of 11 percent people are now directly or indirectly related to the fisheries sector, while contribution of the sector to the country’s GDP is 3.61 percent.
Later, Hasina released fish fry into the Gono Bhaban Lake, marking the “National Fisheries Week-2019”