After being self-sufficient in fish production for the first time this year, Bangladesh has started to get global recognition as one of the biggest fish producers.
The country was ranked third in producing fish from inland water-bodies, behind China and India, according to a report of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The country was the fifth on the list last year.
Bangladesh is now also the fifth biggest aquaculture producer in the world, said the report titled “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018”.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayon Chandra Chanda cited the report findings yesterday at a press conference, organised by the Department of Fisheries at Matsya Bhaban in Dhaka, marking National Fisheries Week, to be observed from July 22 to 28.
“The continuous effort of the government for the country's fisheries sector has resulted in such achievements,” said the minister.
In the 2016-2017 fiscal, Bangladesh produced a total of 41,34,000 metric tonnes of fish, including a first-time surplus of 84,000 tonnes. It helped the country to achieve the rank, he said.
The production of hilsa stood at around five lakh metric tonnes that year, twice the amount in 2008-09, he added.
Citing a report of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Narayon Chandra claimed that the country's per capita fish consumption -- about 63 grammes per day -- has exceeded the required daily demand.
To ensure continuity of the success, the government will prioritise conservation of jatka (small hilsa), protection of natural fish-breeding grounds, extension of shrimp cultivation, and collection of marine fish at a tolerant level, he said in a written statement. The government will also bring all fishing trawlers and vessels under licence within 2030, and establish 20 marine surveillance check-posts in coastal areas within 2020.
“Approximately 60 percent of animal protein that we consume every day comes from fish. And the fisheries sector contributes 3.57 percent to the country's GDP,” the minister said.
The minister also said the fisheries week will be observed across the country through several programmes, like fair, seminar and rally. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will wrap up the observance of the week by releasing fish fry in Gono Bhaban lake, he said.
Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Secretary Raisul Alam Mondal and Director General at the Department of Fisheries Goljar Hossain, among others, were also present at the press conference.
THE FAO REPORT
In getting the third position, Bangladesh produced a total of 10,48,242 tonnes of fish from inland water bodies in 2016, about 2.4 percent higher than 2015, according to the FAO's fisheries and aquaculture report.
China topped the list with 23,18,046 tonnes, while India was in second place with 14,62,063 tonnes, found the report which was made public on July 9. Myanmar and Cambodia secured fourth and fifth positions.
In overall aquaculture production, Bangladesh was placed fifth by producing 22 lakh tonnes in 2016, said the report. China topped that list with a production of 4.92 crore tonnes.
The report also said Bangladesh produced 1,13,200 tonnes of fish from marine and costal sources, and ranked 11th in the list.