Minister: Govt aims to provide safe and healthy fish for all

At present, the fisheries sector contributes 3.57% to the country’s overall GDP 

Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim on Saturday said that the government’s plan is to ensure supply of safe and healthy fish to everyone.

He said this at a press briefing held at the meeting room of the Fisheries Department at the Fisheries Building in the capital.

Stating that the government has been able to bring massive changes in the fisheries sector, the minister said that the government is now aiming to produce fish safe for everyone.

“This year’s National Fisheries Week will be celebrated this week keeping this aim in mind”, Rezaul said.

Fish production in the country has more than doubled in last 16 years. At present, the fisheries sector contributes 3.57% to the country’s overall GDP and 26.5% to the agricultural GDP. Besides, Bangladesh is in third position in fish farming in open water and at 5th position regarding fish farming in closed water.

“All of these developments have been possible due to the goodwill of entrepreneurs and patronage from the government,” said Rezaul.

Rezaul added that scientists at the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute in Mymensingh have brought back a total of 36 fish species from extinction.

“Exploratory ships are conducting research in the Bay of Bengal to learn what types of fishes constitute the aquatic life there. Shrimp has been recognized as a Geographically Indicated (GI) product. We’re currently exporting fish to 52 countries of the world,” added Rezaul.

“The government has established three modern laboratories to control the quality of fishes. All these developments indicate the revolution that is going on in the country’s fisheries sector,” Rezaul further said.

The Minister also said that Bangladesh is among the three countries which have been successful in producing fishes during tough times like the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This has been possible because the government has provided incentives to the fish farmers and fought both domestic and international crises regarding fish production during the Covid period,” said Rezaul.

The Minister mentioned that Bangladesh produced 299,000 tons of Hilsha fish in FY 2008-09, which has increased to 565,000 tons by FY2020-21.

“The government is working to increase Hilsha production so that people from all walks of life can taste the fish,” said Rezaul.

Secretary of Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Muhammad Yamin Chowdhury, Additional Secretaries Shyamal Chandra Karmaker and Md Abdul Kaiyum, and other senior officials of the fisheries ministry and the fisheries department were present at the press briefing.