Gopalganj fishermen expect 200C more profit after Padma Bridge inauguration

The district produces over Tk819.4 crore worth of fish annually

With the opening of the Padma Bridge on June 25, the fortunes of fish farmers and fishermen in Gopalganj are expected to change.

The fishermen of the district are seeing a ray of hope, and expecting over Tk200 crore profit from the fisheries sector.

Due to the distance, many reported that they sell their fish to different parts of the country through other fishmongers, which results in the fish farmers receiving only half the price they expect.

So, the fishermen are now hopeful that the Padma Bridge will allow them to travel to Dhaka and sell their fish directly to the buyers and consumers.

The Gopalganj Fisheries Office reports that fish farming is the second-largest source of income for the people of this district, as it is surrounded by water bodies, such as haors, baors, ponds, and beels.

The cultivation of fish has enabled more than 17,000 people from five upazilas of the district to become subsistence farmers, District Fisheries Officer Biswajit Boiragi told Dhaka Tribune.

Dhaka Tribune

There are some 16,998 ponds and farms in the district, with 16,185 farmers producing over 30,200 tons of fish, including Rohu, Catla, Mrigal carp, Pangas, Tilapia, and Grass carp, according to a data collected from the district Fisheries Office.

Overall, more than 40,952 tons of fish are produced from various sources and they sell at an average price of Tk200 per kg.

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Hence, the district produces over Tk819.4 crore worth of fish annually.

Hafizur Rahman, a fish farmer from Kazulia village in Gopalganj Sadar upazila, said: “Fish farming allowed me to become self-sufficient. We cultivate Carp with algae, wheat bran, and rice husk, hence the fish does not taste like it was farmed.”

He mentioned that the fishermen in the area were always concerned that their fish would rot by the time they reached Dhaka or any other district. 

“Padma Bridge would allow us to sell these fish directly in the markets, and we will get around Tk75 more than before,” he added.

Hafizur further noted that fish from Gopalganj are always in high demand since they taste like freshwater fish.

Another fish farmer, Khalilur Rahman Sohel, from Musksudpur upazila said the price of fish feed has gone up several times. “We could not make a profit by cultivating fish with the prices for the feeds going up.”