|Town/Region||South West Coastal Region|
|Categories||Farming, Invertebrates, Marine|
|Date||19 Jan 2002|
Industrial shrimp cultivation in the Southwest coastal region of Bangladesh began in the early 1980’s, initially in the upstream freshwater areas but later spreading to the brackish tidal wetlands. The most important input for the shrimp farms are post-larvae or fry of the desired species of shrimps.
During the late 90’s vast areas of productive agricultural land became permanently waterlogged due to the Coastal Embankment Project which caused widescale flooding. Many farmers and local people faced destitution, and one readily available food source was post-larvae of shrimp from the rivers and estuaries near their villages. However the common method of collection is crude and destructive – women and children select the desired species of fry from the scooped up catch in their fine-mesh nets, and throw the by-catch on to the river bank. This kills all the by-catch. It has been estimated that over ninety fry of other species of fish and shrimps are lost for every single surviving fry collected.
The result has been disastrous. Many indigenous species of fish have become locally extinct, and the aquatic biodiversity of the region has suffered massively. There has also been great reduction in the fish stock in these rivers and estuaries as well as in the coastal sea.
The team’s aim is to create awareness among the fry collectors to release the by-catch into the rivers without causing any damage to them, so that both the biodiversity and the fish population in the region may be conserved.
For further information contact: