Lab Leaders Host Seminar on Fisheries and Aquaculture in Bangladesh

February 11, 2020

Contact: Kristen Dechert
Photos submitted by Madan Dey

Fish Innovation Lab leaders hosted a seminar titled “Challenges, Needs and Potentials of Aquaculture and Fisheries in Bangladesh,” which brought together academic, industry, and governmental leaders on December 26, 2019, at Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) in Mymensingh. More than 70 participants representing BAU, the Government of Bangladesh Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI), and aquaculture entrepreneurs attended the event.

“One main intended outcome of the quick start project is to identify challenges, possibilities, and needs of aquaculture in Bangladesh,” said Madan Dey, Asia regional specialist for the Fish Innovation lab and professor at Texas State University. “We organized this event to bring together the project participants and broader stakeholder group, including government policymakers, researchers, academic extension agents, academicians, farmers, and aquaculture entrepreneurs, to present and discuss survey data collected from fish farmers and hatcheries and to deliver various sectoral overviews on aquaculture and fisheries in Bangladesh.”

Discussion at the seminar focused on activities and lessons related to the Fish Innovation Lab’s quick start project “Genome Sequencing and Development of SNP Markers from Rohu,” being implemented in Bangladesh. This project, jointly led by Md. Samsul Alam, a professor at BAU, and Attila Karsi, an associate professor at Mississippi State University, seeks to improve the breeding stock of rohu in Bangladesh, thereby improving the nutritional value and production of the fish in the country.

“This seminar made an opportunity to share the message among the gathered stakeholders about the importance of the aquaculture and fisheries sector in Bangladesh,” said M. Gulam Hussain, former director general at the BFRI and current Asia regional coordinator for the Fish Innovation Lab. “The sector contributes 3.6% of national GDP, 2.8% from aquaculture alone, and contributes full-time and part-time employment to more than 17 million people and to 11% of rural people. Bangladesh ranks among the highest fish-consuming nations in the world, with 60% of animal food intake through fish compared to the world average of 16.7%,” added Hussain.

Alam presided over the day-long event, Dey gave a brief overview of the Fish Innovation Lab, and several Fish Innovation Lab researchers and management entity partners delivered presentations and papers on topics related to aquaculture and fisheries in Bangladesh:

  • Md. Akhataruzzaman Khan, a professor at BAU and Bangladesh co-PI on the Fish Innovation Lab project presented “Economics of Rohu-based Carp Polyculture in Bangladesh: Efficiency, Yield Gap and Nutritional Perspectives.”
  • M.A. Mazid, former director general at the BFRI presented “Aquaculture Development in Bangladesh.”
  • Hussain presented two papers: “Aquaculture and Fisheries Sector in Bangladesh: Overview and Government Priorities” and “Sustainable Marine Fisheries Management for Society and Economy,” which was authored by Shahadat Hossain, a professor at the Institute of Marine Sciences at Chittagong University.

M.A. Sattar Mandal, emeritus professor of BAU, as well as former vice chancellor/CEO of BAU and former member of the Bangladesh Planning Commission, was the key discussant for the event. Shamsul Alam, member (senior secretary) of the General Economic Division of Planning Commission for the Government of Bangladesh, was presented as the chief guest. Yahia Mahmud, current director general at BFRI; Ahsan Bin Habib, dean and professor of fisheries at BAU, and Md. Akhteruzzaman, dean and professor of agricultural economics and rural sociology at BAU were special guests of the seminar.

“Various participants, including Senior Secretary Professor Shamsul Alam, Dr.  Yahia Mahmud, and Professor Mandal, expressed strong support for Fish Innovation Lab activities in Bangladesh, which is instrumental for successful implementation of current and future Fish Innovation Lab projects in the country,” said Dey.

Chief guest at the event Professor Shamsul Alam and BFRI have recently been selected as recipient of Ekushe Padak, the country's highest civilian award, Alam for economics and BFRI for research.  

Hussain, Shamsal Alam, and Dey
Hussain, Shamsul Alam, and Dey

Learn more about the Fish Innovation Lab’s work in Bangladesh on the lab website.

Texas State University, located in San Marcos, USA, is a management entity partner for the Fish Innovation Lab