Cultivation of fish on cropland enclosures in the district has risen this year due to the drastic fall in fish production in local rivers and canals.
In Jhalakathi, the present annual demand for fish is around 10,766 tonnes, but last years production was only 4,446 tonnes.
This year, the Department of Fisheries in the district is not only to make up the deficit, but also even achieve a surplus of fish production by utilising the rising numbers of cropland enclosures (ghers) that are cultivating fish now.
Under the IAPP project this year, arrangements were made to produce mono-sex tilapia in 28 nurseries and white fish eggs in 108 ponds.
Besides, initiatives were taken to produce fish fry in different ponds of the district.
This year, fish 106 hectares of land in the district were made into enclosures, while many existing enclosures were expanded further.
Fish cultivation in ponds has largely been replaced with the more productive monosex tilapia cultivation in paddy fields. Some producers have taken to cultivating local shing, koi and magur fish.
In various upazilas, 20-25 hectares of land have been added for fishing purposes.
Recently having returned from America, Abul Bashar of Gabkhan village of Sadar upazila, has started cultivating fish by digging holes on three acres of paddy field. Basher has spent Tk600,000 for the purpose and released 42,000 fries in his ponds.
Rezaul Karim of the same village has been successful in cultivating tilapia fish and has started cultivating monosex tilapia by digging holes on the 3-4 acres of paddy field around his house
UP member Zahidul Islam of Deoulkathi village said he started cultivating fish on one bigha of land using the same method, on the advice of the local fisheries office. He added that in his union alone, more than 10 acres of land have been set aside for fish cultivation in this manner.
Jhalakathi district fisheries officer Rezaul Karim said that fish production has gone up drastically this year and efforts are being made to maintain the new level. He further expressed the expectation that Jhalalkathi will turn into a “fish surplus” district this year.