On January 4, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish (Fish Innovation Lab) and Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) hosted an inception workshop for their project on Cryogenic Sperm Banking of Indian Major Carps and Exotic Carps for Commercial Seed Production and Brood Banking.
Participants included faculty and administrators from BAU, researchers from the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute and Fish Innovation Lab, officials from the Department of Fisheries of Mymensingh Division, and representatives from nongovernmental organizations. Several owners of private fish hatcheries and managers of government fish-seed multiplication farms also joined. Two members of the Fish Innovation Lab team from the United States joined the event remotely as well.
The workshop offered an opportunity for researchers working with the Fish Innovation Lab to share the project’s objectives of developing a cryogenic sperm bank for carps and disseminating high-quality seed to government and private hatcheries to develop quality broodstocks. The researchers were also able to interact with project stakeholders including government officials and hatchery owners to seek feedback on the research plan, intended beneficiaries, and future sustainability of the work.
“This workshop provided us an opportunity to place our work plan, as well as its execution plan, in front of different stakeholders and policymakers. We strongly believe that we will be able to produce quality broodstocks using cryopreserved sperm and to disseminate the technology to the hatchery operators through hands-on training that will ultimately contribute to more fish production, nutritional security, and livelihood improvement for fish farmers,” said Md. Rafiqul Islam Sarder, project PI.
Stakeholders also had an opportunity to raise questions about the project. They asked how quality sperm would be obtained and maintained throughout the cryopreservation process, said Sarder. They also asked for more information about sharing the technology with other hatcheries and whether it could be applied to other fish species, such as catfish, which are facing similar genetic-quality issues as carps, he added.
The event was chaired by M. Mamnur Rashid, dean of the BAU Faculty of Fisheries and included remarks from AK Shakur Ahammad, head of the BAU Department of Fisheries Biology and Genetics, as well as Md. Rafiqul Islam Sarder and project co-PI, Mohammed Matiur Rahman. BAU Vice Chancellor Lutful Hassan attended as Chief Guest, and other special guests included Md. Jashimuddin Khan, BAU pro-vice chancellor; Md. Abu Hadi Noor Ali Khan, director of the BAU Research System; Md. Khalilur Rahman, director of the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute; and Dilip Kumar Saha, district fisheries officer of the Mymensingh Department of Fisheries.