Self-sufficiency in fish production despite export hindrances

Shafiqul Islam
Published : 06:00, Sep 13, 2018 | Updated : 06:00, Sep 13, 2018

Due to internal feud among fish traders in Agartola, fish export industry is facing complexities.
Due to other export processing issues, USA is not importing local fish varieties like shing and magur. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has stopped importing fish cultivated in farms.
Fisheries department says that Bangladesh exports around 70 thousand tonnes of fish to 50 countries, which earns around Tk. 4 thousand crore.
In Agartola, dispute among traders has seen a stoppage in export; as a result, several tonnes of fish, with a market value of Tk. 25 lakh, have become rotten.
On the other hand, USA says that during processing of fish, a fisheries inspector has to be present.
A fish trader, Afzal Hossain, says: “this is nothing new; we face complications from time to time, the problems are created by the government and importing nations.”
Another trader, Noresh Chandra, says: “importing countries allege that our packaging is not up to the mark; sometimes, they have reported spotting a virus in the shrimp we export.”
They often allege that jelly or small iron pieces are inserted inside shrimps to increase weight of the cartons, said the trader.
In the last one decade, export of fish has increased 135 times and production of fish through farming has risen 53 per cent.
An article, ‘The state of world fisheries and aquaculture’, says that per head consumption of fish in the country has gone up by 100 per cent and Bangladesh will be one of the four countries which will experience staggering success in fish farming by 2022.
The country is seeing fish farming in enclosed areas while farming in open areas is falling.
Regarding the temporary setback in fish export, fisheries and livestock, minister, Narayan Chandra Chanda, said: “this is not a problem and will be resolved through dialogue.”
At the initiative of the current government, the country exported 68 thousand 305 metric tonnes of fish and fish based products, earning Tk. 4287 crore, informed the minister.
Bangladesh will attain self-sufficiency in fish production in 2018-19 fiscal, he assured.