However, the statistics on eel fish production was not available yet
Hundreds of farmers and traders in Satkhira are suffering due to an interruption in crab and eel fish exports to China, one of the major countries importing the products, amid deadly Coronavirus fear.
The virus outbreak, originating in China, has already affected global trade, as the economic powerhouse has suspended importing products including eel fish and crab, along with its exports.
"Chinese traders stopped importing crab and eel fish since January 25, after the virus spread widely," said Moniruzzaman, Senior Fisheries Officer for Satkhira.
"It has caused the farmers and traders to suffer as the country was the main destination for the two items," he added.
He informed that China owed Tk150 crore to Bangladeshi traders on account of crab and eel fish imports.
"As a result, the exporters and large traders have failed to pay their dues to local traders and farmers, triggering a crisis in the sector," he added.
Satkhira Crab Traders' Association Joint Secretary Basudeb Mandal said that they were incurring huge losses every day as the crab they collected have been rotting.
"Many traders here have shut down their warehouses, stopped trading and are passing very hard days," he said, adding that there was no alternative to China for the exports.
Mandal said that thousands of people would be jobless there if the situation continued.
Mrinal Bhuyian, a farmer, said he could not sell his crabs the last two weeks.
"It was my only source of income. But I am helpless now," he added, saying that he was now working as a day labourer.
"Many of the farmers here who, like me, were cultivating crab and eel fish have been hit hard and are trying to survive, but they have no alternative," he said, adding that they were passing tough days.
According to the Department of Fisheries, farmers cultivated 2,190 tons of crab on 310.9 hectares of land in Satkhira last year.
However, the statistics on eel fish production was not available yet.
Each kg of crab usually sells at Tk350 in the local market and eel fish at Tk100-110, depending on their size and quality.
Local people said crab and eel fish farming gained momentum in the region a couple of years ago with the start of export.