Fishery Industry in Bangladesh


Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world and which continues to struggle to catch up with the rest of the developed countries. This is however more difficult in practice although many efforts, both national and international are being made in order to help the Bangladesh economy to catch up. For those who care Bangladesh is in a continuous fight against the many natural disasters that hit it on a regular basis and which might have disastrous effects on the already fragile economy. There are many things however that can be exploited from an economical point of view in order to redress the Bangladesh poverty rate, which is among the highest in the world.

Fishing is one of the areas in agriculture that is being intensively used to improve the Bangladesh economy. Bangladesh fishing is obviously possible thanks to the geographical position of the country. Bangladesh has a littoral border with the Indian Ocean, which is considered a very rich source of resources, especially when it comes to the Bay of Bengal. The exclusive economic maritime zone that belongs to Bangladesh spread in about 110,000 square km, representing three quarters of the total surface of the country.

Bangladesh fishing has thus the potential to be one of the saving areas of the economy and has been for many years now the main protein source in the diet of the people in this country. It is estimated that in 1970, Bangladesh fishing accounted for 6% of the GDP of the country. However, serious investment in Bangladesh fishing began in the late 1980s when the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank invested in fishing, especially in the shrimp aquaculture as this type of fish can be found in the Bangladeshi waters and is extensively captured, although though unsophisticated methods, often also inefficient.


Overall Fisheries Industry Analysis

History and General Overview:

The origin and development of aquaculture practices in Bangladesh are not well documented; historically the country’s natural water bodies were stocked during the monsoon season through natural spawning. Fish farming had been a traditional practice dating back several centuries to when the country was ruled by Hindu kings. Many of the kings used to create ponds and tanks for drinking, bathing and sometimes for small-scale irrigation, these ponds and tanks were also used for rearing fish although more from a recreation aspect than for any commercial purpose.

In Bangladesh, aquaculture production systems are mainly extensive and extended extensive, with some semi-intensive and in very few cases intensive systems. Although the culture fishery contributes over 55 percent of inland fish production, it covers only about 11percent of the total inland water resources. But the annual production are still low, 2 609 kg/ha for ponds and ditches, 780 kg/ha for oxbow lakes and 565 kg/ha for coastal aquaculture, although the potentialities are much higher. Nevertheless, over last ten years, yield from closed water aquaculture has been increasing steadily.

Indigenous freshwater carps (22 percent) and exotic carps (10 percent) from both the farming and capture sectors are the primary contributors to total production (Azim et al., 2002); other freshwater fish include catfish, snakeheads and small indigenous species. However, carp polyculture in ponds is more productive, capital intensive and is a more profitable activity when compared to the other culture systems.

Sector Annual yield(kg/ha) Operating cost(US$/ha) Net profit(US$/ha)
Carp polyculture 4 000 1 840 2 241
Tilapia monoculture 4 050 453 1 420
Integrated rice-fish culture 1 440 453 400

Structure: Comparison of the profitability between different types of aquaculture production systems in Bangladesh (ICLARM, 2002)

Feed and labor comprise the two most important components of the total operating cost for most culture systems in Bangladesh, each accounting for approximately 20 percent and 17 percent, respectively of the total operating costs.

The species cultured in the coastal regions of Bangladesh include mainly tiger prawn but also prawn, brown shrimp, white shrimp, mud crab, giant sea perch and yellow tail mullet.

Fish Production and Resource Conservation Campaign:


Total fish production by Bangladesh in 2003 amounted to 2 102 026 tonnes (DoF, 2005) of which 914 752 tonnes or 43.5 percent was produced by the aquaculture sector. Production from ponds and ditches totaled 795 810 tonnes, coastal aquaculture (shrimp and fish ponds) 114 660 tonnes, Kaptai lake 7 238 tonnes and from oxbow lakes 4 282 tonnes (DoF, 2005). Aquaculture production in Bangladesh has increased 6–8 percent per annum during the period 1991–2002 (Ahmed, 2003).

The graph below shows total aquaculture production in Bangladesh according to FAO statistics:




Reported aquaculture production in Bangladesh (from 1950)
(FAO Fishery Statistic)

(Source: FAO Fishery Statistics, Aquaculture productionCampaign for boosting fish production and resource conservation fish week is being observed usually in between July and September every year. Raising awareness of the people through the country for the conservation and management of fisheries resources is also an objective of this campaign. It is a national program and is inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.



1.   Water Area  
(a) Closed Water Body (Culture based) 6,78,724 ha.
i) Pond & Ditches : 3,71,309 ha.
ii) Oxbow lake : 5,488 ha
iii) Shrimp Farm : 2,76,492 ha
(b) Open Water Body (Capture based) 40,24,934 ha
i) River & Estuaries (without Sundarban) 8,53,863 ha
ii) Beel 1,14,161 ha
iii) Kaptai Lake 68,800 ha
iv) Flood Plain : 28,10,410 ha
(c) Marine Fisheries
i) Territorial Water : 2,680 sq. n. miles
ii) Exclusive Economic Zone : 41,040 sq. n. miles
iii) Continental Shelf 24,800 sq. n. miles
iv) Coast line : 710 km.
2. Fish Production 30,61,687 mt.
i) Open Water (capture) : 10,54,585 mt.
ii) Closed Water (Culture) : 14,60,769 mt.
iii) Marine Fisheries 5,46,333 mt.
3. (a) Export of Fish & Fish Products
i) Quantity 96,469 ton.
ii) Value (BDT) 4603.83 crore
iii) Contribution to export earning : 2.73%
(b) No. of Fish Processing Plants : 162
(c) No. of EU aooroved Plants : 74
4. Contribution in GDP 4.43%
5. Fish Intake/Demand
i) Per capita Annual Fish Intake : 18.94 kg.
ii) Annual Total Fish Needed : 20.44 lakh mt.
iii) Contribution in Animal Protein supply : 60% (App.)
6. Fish Hatchery/Nursery
i) Fish hatchery : 921 (Govt. No 76)
ii) No. of Fish Nursery : 921 (Govt. No.76)
iii) Fingerling Production : 82,038 lakh
iv) Natural Fish Fry Collection : 24370 kg.
7. Shrimp Hatchery
i) Bagda Hatchery : 60 (Govt.  no.2)
ii) Galda Hatchery : 80 ( 17)
iii) Galda PL Production (Pieces) : 12,000lakh
iv) Bagda PL Production (Pieces): 59,500 lakh
8. Other Public Sector Fisheries Infrastructure (No.)
i) Fish/Shrimp Training Center : 06
v) Shrimp Demonstration Farm : 02
vi) Fish Landing Center : 09
vi) Shrimp Landing & Service Center : 20
9. Marine Fishing Unit (No.)
i) Deep Sea Fishing Trawlers : 186
ii) Artisanal Mechanized Boats : 21,016
iii) Artisanal Non-mechanized Boats : 22,120
10. Fish Species (No.)
i) Freshwater Fish Species : 260
ii) Exotic Fish Species : 12
iii) Freshwater Prawn Species : 24
iv) Marine Fish Species : 475
v) Marine Shrimp Species 36


Farming Systems Distribution and Characteristics:

Table :Freshwater pond farming systems as defined in the context of Bangladesh

Farming systems Farming practices
a) Extensive Stocking mainly with the three Indian major carp species, no fertilisation and feeding.
b) Extended extensive Stocking mainly with the three Indian major and three exotic (silver, common and grass) carps, irregular use of fertilisation (mostly cow dung) but without feeding. Silver barb is also occasionally stocked.
c) Semi-intensive
  • Stage 1: Stocking mainly with the three Indian major and three exotic carps. Regular use of fertiliser (both organic and inorganic) with occasional use of low quality supplemental feed consisting of rice bran and oil cakes. Silver barb is generally stocked and also freshwater prawn and Nile tilapia.
  • Stage 2: Stocking mainly with the three Indian major and three exotic carps. Regular use of fertiliser (both organic and inorganic) and supplemental feed consisting of rice bran and oil cakes. Silver barb is generally stocked and also freshwater prawn and Nile tilapia and striped catfish.
  • Stage 3: Monoculture of striped catfish. Regular feeding with rice bran/wheat bran/oil cakes and/or commercially manufactured pelleted diet.
d) Intensive Monoculture of striped catfish. Regular feeding with commercially manufactured pelleted diet.

Source: Modified from Hasan (2001b)

Pond aquaculture

There are an estimated 1.3 million fish ponds in the country, covering an area of 0.151 million ha, of which 55.30 percent is cultured, 28.52 percent is culturable and 16.18 percent is unused. In 2002 the percentage of production from the above three systems was 72.09, 20.01 and 7.90 respectively (BBS, 2002). In general the size of fish ponds varies between 0.020 and 20 ha with an average of 0.30 ha. In Bangladesh, the highest number of ponds exists in the Barisal district (12.11percent), followed by Comilla (9.36 percent), Sylhet (9.10 percent), Chittagong (8.02 percent) and Noakhali (7.75 percent) (BBS, 2002).

Historically people depended mainly on natural waters for supplies of fish; but as a result of declining catches of wild fish due to an increased fishing effort by the growing population as well as environmental degradation, people began to culture fish in enclosed waters. The polyculture of major and exotic carps and monoculture of striped catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus), Nile tilapia and Java barb (Barbonymus gonionotus) and to some extent catfish (Clarias batrachus) are the most widely practiced culture system in Bangladesh. Three Indian major carps namely, Labeo rohitaCatla catla and Cirrhinus mrigala and one exotic carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix now account for more than 78 percent of total pond production (ICLARM, 2002). However, carp polyculture at the individual small holder level has the greatest potential for expansion since it can, through the implementation of more intensive culture systems including the application of fertilisers, use of supplemental feeding and improved management practices (Gupta et al., 1999), provide a significant potential increase in income, by as much as 57 percent or US$ 717/ha, this is more than the other culture practices in use (DoF, 2003). At present annual average fish production using pond culture is 2 609 kg/ha (DoF, 2005).

Fish culture in cages

Cage culture was introduced into Bangladesh in the late 1970s on an experimental basis, a series of experiments were conducted at the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) (Hasan et al., 1982, Ahmed et al., 1984 and Ahmed et al., 1997) which demonstrated the potential of cage aquaculture. The Department of Fisheries conducted a cage culture project in Kaptai lake during 1985–86 achieving


Shrimp farming

Shrimp farming in the south and southeastern coastal belt of Bangladesh began in the early 1970s. From less than 20 000 ha of brackishwater ponds in 1980, the area under cultivation expanded to approximately 140 000 ha by 1995 (Wahab, 2003). The last complete survey to estimate the total area under shrimp cultivation was carried out in 1993–94; it has not been updated since then. DoF (2005) estimated that the total area under farming has expanded to 203 071 ha in 2003–2004. The major shrimp producing districts are Bagerhat, Satkhira, Pirojpur, Khulan, Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong, recently farmers especially in the Bagerhat and Pirojpur districts have begun shrimp farming in their paddy fields. Traditionally shrimp farming began by trapping tidal waters in nearby coastal enclosures known as ‘gher’ where no feed, fertilisers or other inputs were applied, with an increasing demand from both national and international markets farmers started to switch over into improved extensive and semi-intensive systems.

Semi intensive farming began in 1993 in the Cox’s Bazar region, with this system ponds were stocked with 10–35 post larvae (PL)/m2 using supplemental pellet feed but without reservoir tanks. The first outbreak of a viral epidemic in shrimp farms occurred in 1994 in semi intensive farms in the Cox’s Bazar region (Larkins, 1995; Karim and Stellwagen, 1998). In 1996 it was discovered to have spread to other coastal districts affecting extensive shrimp farms (Karim and Stellwagen, 1998). In 2001, the disease once again caused the collapse of shrimp production in both the Cox’s Bazar and Khulna regions, the disease has not yet been completely eradicated and can still cause havoc for shrimp producers.

Integrated fish farming

The integration of aquaculture with duck and chicken production was begun experimentally at the BFRI, Mymensingh producing some promising results. The project demonstrated that 500 khaki Campbell ducks can be profitably raised on a 1 ha carp pond while also producing 4.5 tonnes/ha of fish without any additional need for supplementary feed or fertiliser for the fish. The most promising integrated farming in Bangladesh however, is rice fish culture, Ameen (1987) reported on the technique from many parts of Bangladesh. Traditionally one or more sump pond(s) are constructed at the lowest corner of the paddy field where fish accumulate as the water level reduces, thus fish are harvested from the sump without any additional stocking or management practices being required. In an experiment, Islam and Ahmed (1982) obtained 346 kg fish in 4 months by stocking minor carp, catfish, climbing perch and common carp in a rice field, on the other hand, Ameen (1987) reported an example where approximately 457 kg fish/ha and 6 kg prawn/ha were harvested in 131–175 days.

Fish culture in ox-bow lakes

The most successful example of culture based fisheries has been accomplished in oxbow lakes located in Southwest Bangladesh (Hasan and Middendrop, 1998, Hasan, 2001a). There are approximately 600 oxbow lakes in Bangladesh with an estimated water area of 5 488 ha (DoF, 2003). Most of these oxbow lakes are located in five districts of southwest Bangladesh (Khulna division: Jessore, Jhinaidah, Chuadanga and Kushtia districts and Dhaka division: Faridpur district). Twenty-three of these lakes

Fisheries Sector’s Prospects and Potentials:

  1. National Contribution

Fisheries sector contributed 4.43%  to national GDP and 22.21% to the agricultural GDP and 2.73% to foreign exchange earnings by exporting fish fish products in 2010-11. Fish provides 60% of national animal protein consumption. Fisheries sector also  plays an important role in rural employment generation and poverty alleviation.

  1. Source of Fish Production

There are three categories of major fisheries resources, these are-

  1. Inland Capture (34%)
  2. Inland Culture (48%)
  3. Marine Capture (18%)


  1. Inland Fisheries

Inland fisheries comprises of rivers, ponds, estuaries, beels, floodplains, haors, baors, brackish water etc. There are 260 fish and 24 prawn species in inland fresh water in the country. In early sixties inland fisheries contributed about 90% of total fish production of the country. Fish production from aquaculture has increased to a great extent but open water fish production is in slow progress. Now only about 34% of total fish production comes from inland open water.

  1. Marine Fisheries

The Bay of Bengal is situated in the South of Bangladesh. There is a total of 166,000 sq. km. water area including Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Fishing is only confined within 200-meter depth. About 158 trawlers, 45,377 mechanized and non-mechanized boats are engaged in fishing. Pelagic and deep-sea resources are still untapped. In the year 2010-11 total fish production from Marine source was 5.46 lakh metric MT.

Recently Bangladesh has got the right to access 1.00 lakh sq. kilometer water area in  Bay of Bengal through International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) by the visionary and pragmatic leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. DoF has planned to assess the fisheries resources in the Bay of Bengal for maximum sustainable yield. A research vessel is under process of procurement to conduct appropriate stock assessment. Vessel Tracking Monitoring System will also be developed.

Last 5 years fish production is shown in the following table

Year Source-wise production (MT) Total
Inland open Closed Marine
2010-2011 1054585 1460769 546333 3061687
2009-2010 1029937 1351979 517282 2899198
2008-2009 1123925 1062801 514644 2701370
2007-2008 1060181 1005542 497573 2563296
2006-2007 10067761 955812 487438 2440011
  1. Fish production

In 2010-11 the total fish production is 30.62 lakh Metric Ton (MT). Average annual growth rate of fish production in last 3 years is 6.11%. The Production from closed water bodies is increasing very sharply due to dissemination of adaptive technologies and need-based extension services rendered by DoF.



Major group wise contribution in fish production (2010-2011):

There are 260 freshwater and 475 marine fish species in the country. About 12 exotic species are being cultured in the country.

National Fisheries Policy

A national fisheries policy has been adopted to make the aquaculture and fisheries management activities environment friendly and sustainable. The policy has been formulated aiming at the primary objective of increasing fish production through optimum utilization of the available resources. In this policy a separate chapter containing shrimp culture and export guideline has been incorporated. National shrimp policy rule is under consideration of the government employment generation and poverty alleviation have also been given importance in fisheries policy. National Fisheries Strategy has been developed and approved by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in 2006 on the basis of National Fisheries Policy. The Fisheries strategy comprises of 8 sub-strategies and action plan.

Development Activities

  1. Annual Development Program

In addition to the normal activities of the DoF several development projects are being implemented aiming at boosting up fish production and conservation of fisheries resources. In 2010-2011 a total of 25 investment projects 2 programs and 4 technical assistance Project has been in implementation.  technical assistance projects are being implemented. Through  the development activities habitat restoration, conservation of natural resources, community based resource management, human resource development, and alternate income generating activities etc. is implementing in this sector.

  1. website for Fisheries

For quick and update information about DoF and aquaculture technologies , a fisheries website ( is running. To extend e-Extension services up to field level e–Extension program under Access to Information (A2I) is running in 10 upazilas. DoF has already developed a Software by using of which fish farmers can get the advice for modern aquaculture

  1. Aquaculture Practices
  2. i) Freshwater Aquaculture:Indian major carps and exotic carps are largely cultured in the country. Culture practices are mainly improved-extensive and semi-intensive. Beside Carp aquaculture, monoculture of Thi Pungus, Tilapia, Shorputi, Thai Koi are also practiced. Average fish production in the ponds is 3285 kg/ha/year. Freshwater prawn (m.rosenbergii) is also cultured along with carps in some areas of the country.
  3. ii) Brackish Water Aquaculture: It is widespread in Satkhira, Khulna, Cox’s Bazar and Bagerhat District. Tiger Shrimp p. monodon and giant prawn M. rosenbergii are the species of shellfish cultured in those areas. M. rosenbergii is largely cultured in southwest region of the country. The total production of shrimp and prawn in 2010-2011 was about 2.4 lakh MT.

iii) Fish and shrimp Hatchery: Fish hatchery especially carp hatchery started to come up in late seventies. At present there are 845 private nurseries, 76 Government fish Hatcheries and 124 Government fish seed multiplication farms in the country.

A total of 6,29,175.53kg spawn was produced from private and Government Hatcheries in the year 2011. Collection of fish seed from natural grounds has increased to about 4370 kg. In 2010-11 there were about 60 P.monodon (Bagda) Hatcheries and 80 M.rosenbergii (Galda) Hatcheries. About 59,500 lakh bagda post larva (PL) and about 12,000 lakh golda post larvae (PL) were produced in these hatcheries. almost all Bagda Hatcheries are located in Cox’s Bazar region, but major culture grounds are situated in southwest region of Bangladesh.

  1. Open water management
  2. i) Fisheries Legislation: For fisheries resource conservation, management and maintenant and maintenance of quality of the fish and fish products the following major ordinances and rules are being enforced.
  3. Tank Improvement Act, 1939
    2. Fish Protection & Conservation Act,1950 (amended in 1995)
    3. The protection and Conservation of Fish Rules, 1985 (amended in 2008)
  4. The fish & fish Products (Inspection & Quality Control) Ordinance, 1983.
  5. The fish & fish Products (Inspection & Quality Control) Rule, 1997(amended in 2008)
  6. The Marine Fisheries Ordinance, 1983
    7. The Marine Fisheries Rules, 1983
    8. Shrimp Culture Avikor Act, 1992
  7. Shrimp Culture Avikor Rules, 1993
  8. Fish Feed and Animal Feed Act, 2010; and Fish feed Regulation, 2011.

11.Fish Hatchery Act, 2010; and Fish Hatchery Regulation, 2011.

  1. ii) Hilsa Fishery Management: Hilsa (Shad) is an important diadromous fish in the South and south-East Asia especially in Bangladesh. It is considered as national fish in the country and contributes to the national economy, employment and export. Hilsa has the highest contribution in the country’s fish production as the single fish species. More than 11% of the country’s fish production comes from Hilsa. In 2010-11 Hilsa production was 3.40 lakh MT, which values around10,000 crore taka. DoF has taken some steps to strengthen the on-going Hilsa management through jatka Conservation Project/Program like (1) to establish 5 Hilsa sanctuaries, (2) to arrange need based training to involve the hilsa fishers for effective intervention of alternation income generating activities, and (3) to support the hilsa fishers with 30 kg food grains/family/month during the ban periods for four months. A total of 20 thousand fishers in Hilsa sanctuary areas are being directly benefited through Alternate Income Generation Activities.

iii) Protection of Natural Breeding Ground Halda: DoF is restoring the natural Breeding habitats of the Halda river to protect natural breeding ground of Indian Major Carps. In 2012 the total natural collected spawn/hatchling is 1569kg.

  1. iv) Fishers ID Card: Government has decided to issue ID card to the fishers community of the country through a project under DoF. Through this development project database of genuine fishers will also be developed.
  2. v) Integrated Natural Resource Management: DoF is implementing integrated natural resource management system by local users contributors to conserving the biodiversity and livelihoods in the selected wetlands and floodplains in the padma-Jumna rivers delta region through a development project.
  3. vi) Fish Habitat Restoration: In 2011-12 total 970 water bodies (areas about 2,123ha) have been developed by 07 development projects under DoF. As a result additional 3,000 MT fish will be produced annually. In addition 450 hectare Modhumoti Baor has been excavated mechanically in this fiscal year. About 60 ha Hurasagar river will be re-excavated in the coming years.

The institutional framework:

The following institutional bodies are involved in aquaculture and fisheries in Bangladesh:

  • Department of Fisheries (DoF) under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MoFL) is the sole authority with administrative control over aquaculture in Bangladesh. The DoF is managed by a Director General and has two main sub-departments namely, inland and marine. The main responsibilities held by the DoF include planning, development, extension and training, DoF has six divisional offices, 64 district offices and 497 upazilla (sub-districts) offices and in addition it has 118 hatcheries and four training centers (Mazid, 2002).
  • Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) conducts and coordinates research and to some extent training.
  • Bangladesh Rural Development Board is responsible for the fisheries component of integrated rural development.
  • Land Administration and Land Reform Division is responsible for the leasing of public water bodies.
  • Export Promotion Bureau is responsible for export of fisheries products, along with the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association which is also involved in the export of frozen shrimp, fish and fish products.
  • The country’s universities are responsible for higher level fisheries education.
  • External Resource Division under the Ministry of Finance is responsible for external aid for aquaculture development.
  • Bangladesh Krishi (Agriculture) Bank, Bangladesh Samabay (Co-operative) Bank and some other commercial banks are responsible for issuing credit to the aquaculture sector.
  • Many of the national and international NGO’s provides credits to the fish farmers and as well as takes up projects for aquaculture extension and development.
  • International organizations (DFID, Danida, NORAD, JICA, World Bank, IMF, ADB etc.) provide grants and credits for aquaculture development.
  • Youth Development Training Centers, under the Ministry of Youth, deals with extension and the training of unemployed young people and fish farmers.


Market and Trade:

In general fish markets in Bangladesh are situated in both rural and urban areas, they tend to be unhygienic, unscientific, dirty and operate using weak management systems. Approximately 97 percent of the inland fish production is marketed internally for domestic consumption while the remaining 3 percent is exported (Hasan, 2001a).

A large number of people are involved in the fish marketing chain and include farmers, processors, traders, intermediaries, day laborers and transporters (DFID, 1997 and Kleih, 2001).

Four categories of markets are involved in the distribution of fish, these are: primary markets, secondary markets (assembly markets), higher secondary markets (wholesale markets) and central markets. Locally these steps in the chain are known as: Fisherman Nikary (collector), Chalani (transporter), Aratdars (wholesaler), Paiker (retailer) and consumer (Alam, 2002). The market chain defined for freshwater prawn from producer to consumer are the field workers, prawn traders, agents and processing companies (Ahmed et al. 2004). A fish farmer receives 56 percent of the price paid by the final consumer, in other words 44 percent of the retail price is taken by the various intermediaries (Alam, 2002).
The country’s main exportable product is frozen shrimp, other exported products include frozen fish, frozen frog, dry fish, salted fish, turtles, crabs, shark fins and fish maws (dried fish swim bladders) (DoF, 2003).

Of the total available fish and fishery products for export 30.06 percent is exported to USA, 48.51percent to European countries, 9.32 percent to Japan and the remainder to Thailand and Middle Eastern countries (Hossain, 2003).

Export of Fish & Fish Products:

There are162 fish processing plants in the country. Out of 162 plants European Commission has approved 74 plants. HACCP has already been introduced in fish processing establishments. Major importing countries are European countries, USA and Japan. About 98% of total fish products are exported to those countries. Remaining are exported to the countries in Southeast Asia and Middle East.

Year Source-wise production Other fish products Total
Quantity (MT) Value (Crore Taka) Quantity (MT) Value(Crore Taka) Value (Crore Taka)
20010-2011 54891 3568.2 41578 1035.63 4603.83
2009-2010 51599 2885.21 26044 523.31 3408.52
2008-2009 50368 2744.12 22520 499.29 3243.41
2007-2008 49907 2863.92 25992 532.36 3396.28
2006-2007 53361 2992.33 20343 360.56 3352.89

Major export items of fish products are raw shrimp block frozen, IQF shrimp and white fish, PUD and P&D shrimp block frozen, consumer pack of raw frozen shrimp, chilled & frozen Hilsa, dry, salted and dehydrated fish, live fish, eel fish & crab and a little quantity of value added fish and shrimp products. Production of Crab through fattening in 2010 was 7756 MT of which 634.7 MT was exported by earning Tk. 375.88 crore. DoF has three inspection and quality control stations located at khulna, chittagong and Dhaka facilitated with testing laboratories. DoF is entrusted with the responsibility to ensure the quality of the products as Competent Authority.

List of Fish of Bangladesh:

Local Bangladesh name Name in Bengali Status Common English name Scientific Name Picture
Artamim আইড়/আরটামিম/আড় Native Long-whiskered catfish Sperata aor
Along এলং Native Bengal Barb Megarasbora elanga
Angrot/Kharsa এংরট Native Angrot Labeo angra
Anju আনজু Native Zebrafish Danio rerio
Arwari আরওয়ারি Native Menoda catfish Hemibagrus menoda
Baghair বাগাইর/বাঘাইর Native Dwarf goonch Bagarius bagarius
Bai-la বাইলা Native Awaous guamensis
Baim বাইম Native Zig-zag eel/Tire track eel Mastacembelus armatus
Boitka বইটকা Native Labeo pangusia
Bhetki ভেটকী Native Barramundi Lates calcarifer
Balichura বালিচুরা Native Balitora minnow Psilorhynchus balitora
Balichura বালিচুরা endemic Rainbow minnow Psilorhynchus gracilis
Bamush বামুশ Native Bengal eel Ophisternon bengalense
Bane-hara বানেহারা Native Indian mottled eel Anguilla bengalensis bengalensis
Bansh-pata/Debari বানসপাটা/দেবারি Native Sind danio Devario devario
Bansh-pata/Bati বানসপাটা/বাটা Native Broad-mouthed mullet/Large-scaled mullet Paramugil parmatus
Barali বারালি / বোরালি Native Barred baril Barilius barila
Baril/Joiya বারিল/জইয়া Native Hamilton’s barila Barilius bendelisis
Bata/Bangna বাটা/বাংনা Native Reba Labeo ariza
Bata বাটা Native B a t a Labeo bata
Batasi বাতাসি Native Indian potasi Neotropius atherinoides
Bechi বেচি Native Whitespot/Blue panchax Aplocheilus panchax
Bele বেলে Native Scribbled goby Awaous grammepomus
Bele বেলে Native Tank goby Glossogobius giuris
Bhadi puti ভাদিপুঁটি Native Pool barb Puntius sophore
Bhangan ভাঙান/ভাঙ্গান Native Boga labeo Labeo boga
Bhol ভোল Native Trout barb Raiamas bola
Kuli/Bhut bele কুলি/ভূতবেলে Native Dusky sleeper Eleotris fusca
Bilchuri বিলচুরি Native Mottled loach Acanthocobitis botia
Boal বোয়াল Native Wallago Wallago attu
Borguni বোরগুনি Native Jarbua terapon Terapon jarbua
Bou/Rani বৌমাছ/রানি Native Bengal loach Botia dario
Bou mach বৌমাছ/রানি Questionable Hora loach Botia dayi
Bou mach বৌমাছ/রানি Native Reticulate loach Botia lohachata
Murari মুরারি Native Carplet Aspidoparia morar
Magor/Shing মাগুর/শিংমাছ Native Indian torrent catfish Amblyceps mangois
Gong Tengra গংটেংরা Native Gagata gagata
Magor/Shing মাগুর/শিংমাছ Native Gagata youssoufi
Chondon Ilish চন্দনা/চন্দনইলিশ Native Toli shad Tenualosa toli
Chapila চাপিলা Native Ganges River Gizzard Shad Gonialosa manmina
Chapila চাপিলা Native Indian River Shad Gudusia chapra
Chebli চেবলি Native Giant Danio Devario aequipinnatus
Cheka চেকা Native Squarehead Catfish Chaca chaca
Chela চেলা Questionable Silver razorbelly minnow Salmostoma acinaces
Chela চেলা Native Large razorbelly minnow Salmostoma bacaila
Chela চেলা native Finescale razorbelly minnow Salmostoma phulo
Chenua চেনুয়া Native Sisor Catfish Sisor rabdophorus
Chep chela/Laubucha চেপচেলা/লাউবুচা Native Indian Glass Barb Chela laubuca
Chewa চেওয়া Native Pseudapocryptes
Chitol চিতল Native Clown Knifefish Chitala chitala
Foli/Chitol ফলি Native Bronze featherback Notopterus notopterus
Chuna চুনা Native Honey gourami Trichogaster chuna
Chunobele চুনোবেলে Native Gobiopterus chuno
Common carp কমনকার্প introduced Common carp Cyprinus carpio carpio
Dahuk ডাহুক Native Boddart’s goggle-eyed goby Boleophthalmus boddarti
Dahuk ডাহুক native Walking goby Scartelaos histophorus
Dari (fish) ডারি Native Schistura scaturigina
Darkina দারকিনা Native Flying barb Esomus danricus
Darkina দারকিনা Native Slender rasbora Rasbora daniconius
Darkina দারকিনা Native Gangetic scissortail rasbora Rasbora rasbora
Dhal magor ঢালমাগুর Native Glyptothorax telchitta
Ek thouta একথৌতা Questionable Wrestling halfbeak Dermogenys pusilla
Gechua গেছুয়া Native Channa gachua
Gechua গেছুয়া Native Walking Channa orientalis
Gagla গাগলা Native Gagora catfish Arius gagora
Gong magor গংমাগুর Native Gray eel-catfish Plotosus canius
Gong tengra গংটেংরা Native Gagata cenia
Gong tengra গংটেংরা Native Gogangra viridescens
Gong tengra গংটেংরা Native Nangra nangra
Kabashi Tengra গুলসা/গুলসা-টেংরা/কাবাশিটেংরা Native Gangetic mystus Mystus cavasius
Ghor poi-ya ঘরপোয়া Native Sucker head Garra gotyla gotyla
Ghonia ঘনিয়া Native Boggut labeo Labeo boggut
Ghor poa ঘরপোয়া introduced Garra annandalei
Ghora chela ঘোড়াচেলা Native Securicula gora
Ghora mach ঘোড়ামাছ Native Labeo dyocheilus
Gilipunti গিলিপুঁটি Native Golden barb Puntius gelius
Gobi (fish) বেলে Native Apocryptes bato
Goti poa গোটিপোয়া Native Largescale archerfish Toxotes chatareus
Gozar গজার Native Great snakehead Channa marulius
Grass carp গ্রাসকার্প introduced Grass carp Ctenopharyngodon
Gura tengra গুরাটেঙ্গরা Native Chandramara chandramara
Gutum গুতুম Native Annandale loach Lepidocephalichthys annandalei
Gutum গুতুম Native Guntea loach Lepidocephalichthys guntea
Hatchetfish Native Chela cachius
Ilish ইলিশ Native Hilsa shad Tenualosa ilisha
Jaya জয়া Native Jaya Aspidoparia jaya
Kechhki কাচকি Native Ganges river sprat Corica soborna
Kechhki কাচকি Native Yellowtail mullet Sicamugil cascasia
Kajuli কাজুলি Native Gangetic ailia Ailia coila
Kajuli কাজুলি Native Jamuna ailia Ailiichthys punctata
Kakila কাকিলা Native Freshwater garfish Xenentodon cancila
Kalibaus কালিবাউস Native Orange-fin labeo Labeo calbasu
Kachon punti কাচোনপুঁটি Native Rosy barb Puntius conchonius
Kani pabda কানিপাবদা Native Butter catfish Ompok bimaculatus
Kani tengra কানিটেংরা Native Glyptothorax cavia
Kani tengra কানিটেংরা Native Painted catfish Pseudolaguvia ribeiroi
Kani tengra কানিটেংরা Native Pseudolaguvia shawi
Karati hangar করাতিহাঙর Native Knifetooth sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata
Kathal pata কাথালপাতা Native Pan sole Brachirus pan
Katol কাতল Native Catla Catla catla
Kawai’in কই Native Climbing perch Anabas testudineus
Keti (fish) কেটি Native Osteobrama cotio cotio
Khailsha খৌলশা Native Banded gourami Colisa fasciata
Khaksa খাকসা Native Barilius barna
Kharu খারু Native Rice-paddy eel Pisodonophis boro
Khorsula খোরসুলা Native Corsula Rhinomugil corsula
Koi কৈ Native Climbing perch Anabas testudineus
Koirka কৈরকা Native Schistura corica
Koitor কোইটুর Native Coitor croaker Johnius coitor
Koksa ককসা Native Barilius shacra
Koksa ককসা Native Barilius vagra
Kosuati কোসুয়াটি Native Oreichthys cosuatis
Kuchia কুচিয়া Native Cuchia Monopterus cuchia
Kuli (fish) কুলি Native Duckbill sleeper Butis butis
Kumirer khil কুমিরেরখিল Native Ichthyocampus carce
Kumirer khil কুমিরেরখিল Native Crocodile-tooth pipefish Microphis cuncalus
Kumirer khil কুমিরেরখিল Native Deocata pipefish Microphis deocata
Kursha (fish) কুরসা Native Kalabans Sinilabeo dero
Kuta kanti কুটিকানটি Native Conta catfish Conta conta
Kutakanti কুটিকানটি Native Erethistes hara
Kutakanti কুটিকানটি Native Erethistes jerdoni
Kutakanti কুটিকানটি Native Erethistes pusillus
Lal kholisha লালখোলিশা Native Dwarf gourami Colisa lalia
Lomba chanda লম্বাচান্দা Native Elongate glass-perchlet Chanda nama
Modhu pabda মধুপাবদা Native Pabdah catfish Ompok pabda
Magur মাগুর introduced African catfish / North African catfish Clarias gariepinus
Minor carp Native Crossocheilus latius
Mola punti মলাপুঁটি Native Glass-barb Puntius guganio
Mola মলা Native Indian carplet Amblypharyngodon microlepis
Mola মলা Native Mola carplet Amblypharyngodon mola
Mrigol মৃগেল Native Mrigal Cirrhinus cirrhosus
Muri bacha মুরিবাচা Native Eutropiichthys murius
Muribacha মুরিবাচা Native Garua Bachcha Clupisoma garua
Nandil নানডিল Native Labeo nandina
Napte koi নাপটিকই Native Badis Badis badis
Neftani নেফটেনি Native Frail gourami Ctenops nobilis
Nilotica Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus niloticus
Nodoi নদয় Native Gangetic leaffish Nandus nandus
Nuna bailla নুনাবেলে Native Brachygobius nunus
Nuna-tengra নুনাটেংরা Native Long whiskers catfish Mystus gulio
Olive danio Native Danio dangila
Pabda catfish পাবদা Native Pabo catfish Ompok pabo
Panga পাঙ্গা Native Java loach Pangio oblonga
Pangas পাঙ্গাস Native Yellowtail catfish Pangasius pangasius
Pankal baim পনকালবাইম Native Barred spiny eel Macrognathus pancalus
Pathar chata পাথরচাটা Native Barilius tileo
Phasa (fish) ফাশা Questionable Gangetic hairfin anchovy Setipinna phasa
Phopa chanda ফোপাচান্দা Native Himalayan glassy perchlet Pseudambassis baculis
Phutani punti ফুটনিপুঁটি Native Spottedsail barb Puntius phutunio
Poa (fish) পোয়া Native Pama croaker Otolithoides pama
Poia পোয়া Native Gongota loach Somileptus gongota
Potka পটকা Native Green pufferfish Tetraodon fluviatilis
Pug-headed mud skipper বেলে Native Giant mudskipper Periophthalmodon schlosseri
Puiya পুয়া Native Burmese loach Lepidocephalichthys berdmorei
Puiya পুয়া Native Loktak loach Lepidocephalichthys irrorata
Punti (fish) পুঁটি Native Swamp barb Puntius chola
Punti (fish) পুঁটি Native Puntio barb Puntius puntio
Putitor mohashoul মহাশোল Native Golden mahseer Tor putitora
Mohashoul মহাশোল Native Tor Tor
Rajputi রাজপুঁটি introduced Java barb Barbonymus gonionotus
Ranga chanda রাঙ্গাচান্দা Native Indian glassy fish Parambassis ranga
Rata boura রাটাবউরা Native Purple spaghetti-eel Moringua raitaborua
Rita (fish) রিটা Native Rita Rita rita
River catfish Native Eutropiichthys vacha
Rui রুই Native Rohu Labeo rohita
Sapla pata শাপলাপাটা Native Pale-edged stingray Dasyatis zugei
Savon khorka শভনখোরকা native Schistura savona
Shada ghonia সাদাঘনিয়া Native Kuria labeo Labeo gonius
Shankhachii শানকাচি Native Banded eagle ray Aetomylaeus nichofii
Shillong (fish) শিলঙ্গ Native Silond catfish Silonia silondia
Shingi শিঙ্গঘি Native Stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis
Shoul শৌল Native Snakehead murrel Channa striata
Shorpunti শরপুঁটি Native Olive barb Puntius sarana
Silver carp সিলভারকার্প introduced Silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
Snake eel কুইচা Native Longfin snake-eel Pisodonophis cancrivorus
Stripped dwarf catfish Native Mystus tengara
Suncush শুনকুশ Questionable Dwarf whipray Himantura walga
Suncush শুনকুশ Native Cowtail stingray Pastinachus sephen
Taki (fish) টাকি Native Spotted snakehead Channa punctata
Tapse তপসি Native Mango Fish / Cichlid Sarotherodon melanotheron heudelotii
Tara baim তারাবাইম Native Lesser spiny eel Macrognathus aculeatus
Tengra টেংরা Native Batasio batasio
Tengra টেংরা Native Batasio tengana
Tengra টেংরা Native Day’s mystus Mystus bleekeri
Tengra টেংরা Native Striped dwarf catfish Mystus vittatus
Tepa ট্যাপা Native Ocellated pufferfish Tetraodon cutcutia
Teri punti টেরাপুঁনটি Native Onespot barb Puntius terio
Tiashol টিয়াশোল Native Barca snakehead Channa barca
Tilapia তেলাপিয়া introduced Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus
Tit punti Native Ticto barb Puntius ticto
Titari টাটারি Native River stone carp Psilorhynchus sucatio
Tor mahseer মহাশির Native Tor mahseer Tor tor
Utii উটি Native Chaguni Chagunius chagunio


Economic Impact on Fishery Industry in Bangladesh

Both fisheries and aquaculture in Bangladesh play a major role in alleviating protein deficiency and malnutrition, in generating employment and foreign exchange earnings. Moreover, the fisheries sector contributes 5.10 percent, of the country’s export earnings, 4.91percent of its GDP and provides 63 percent of the national animal protein consumption (DoF, 2003.) Fish and fishery products are the country’s third largest export commodity contributing 5.10 percent of its exchange earnings, in 2002–2003 Bangladesh earned US$ 324 million of which shrimp alone contributed 72 percent of the total by quantity and 89 percent by value (DoF, 2003).


Fisheries and aquaculture play a major role in nutrition, employment and foreign exchange earnings with about 12 million people are associated with the fisheries sector, of which 1.4 million people rely exclusively on fisheries related activities (Shah, 2003). An estimated 9.5 million people (73 percent) are involved in subsistence fisheries on the country’s flood plains (Azim et al., 2002), the number of fishermen increases dramatically to 11 million between June to October each year. There are 3.08 million fish farmers, 1.28 million inland fishermen and 0.45 million fry collectors (fish and shrimp) in Bangladesh (DOF, 2003) and it is estimated that fisheries and related activities support more than 7 percent of the country’s population.

Currently, more than 600 000 people are engaged in shrimp farming activities (Karim, 2003), it is also estimated that around 14 000 fishermen (2.5 fishers per ha water body) are directly involved and 70 000 rural people are the direct beneficiaries of oxbow lake fisheries (Hasan, 2001a; Hasan and Talukdar, 2004). In both aquaculture and fisheries activities it is the male members of the family who carry out almost all of the work in Bangladesh, very recently however a few women have been encouraged to participate through the motivation of NGOs and some private entrepreneurs. Thengamara Mahila Sabuj Sangha is a woman’s NGO which is actively engaged in aquaculture development activities.


Total inland and marine catches as estimated by the Directorate of Fisheries (DOF) will be
4.81% higher in FY 2006-07 (2.44 million metric tons) than that in the previous year. The
fishery sector is likely to grow by 3.99% in FY 2006-07 compared with 3.91% in FY
2005-06. At constant prices the contribution of fishery sub-sector is 4.3% to the total GDP of
FY 2006-07. In FY 2008-09 estimated growth rate is 4.01% which is lower than the previous FY 2007-08, 4.18

Problems and Recommendations



Lack of Capital:

Problem: Two-third people of Bangladesh are involved in agricultural activities. Fisheries are one of them and most profitable sector. Most of the fishermen are poor and illiterate. Economical problem is the main obstacle in fishing industry. They do not provide enough capital. Financial institutions do not give them adequate loan on possible condition. That’s why they are unable to provide the necessary elements and they cannot develop in this sector.

Solution: Government and financial institutions such as Bank, leasing company, insurance, NGO etc. can solve this capital problem by giving loans in short condition.

If fishermen use their money in right sector in right time, they will overcome this problem.


Transportation problem:

Problem:Now-a-dayspolitical unrest such as hartal, blockade, strike, demolishing vehicle are causes many problems in transportation. As a result fisherman cannot provide fish to customers at the right time. As well as necessary fish transportation vehicle cannot reach the target place. Somefisheries are situated in rural areas where road’s condition is very bad. As a result fishermen cannot get enough help to enrich their fisheries. As a result, economic downward has increased.

Solution: All kinds of political parties can solve this problem to remove all kinds of political unrest and they can ensure batter political environment in our country. As well as government can solve this problem to construct new roads and reconstruct old damage roads in rural or urban areas.


Storage problems:

Problem: Storage system is another important instrument of fishing industries. As fishes have to get rotten, it has to storage backup. If it does not prove at the right time, it got rotten. And sometimes fishes have to stock to export. But the storage of fishing system is not well developed in our country. As a result, the fisherman gets losses in this sector.


Solution: To solve this problem, government must be constructed many cold storage. The marketing processes of fish need to be developed day by day.


Shortage of skilled manpower:

Problem: Bangladesh is an over populated country. There have many workers but skilled workers are insufficient for any industry. Fishery industry needs more skilled manpower but our country’s workers are so dull about this industry.  So it’s a big problem in our fishery industry.

Solution: If we develop our workers efficiency to provide proper training then we can overcome this problem. As well as proper government step can solve this problem to provide various professional training.


Lack of proper training:

Problem:In our fishing industry Most of the workers are illiterate. They do not have sufficient knowledge about fishing. Lacking of proper training, they cannot enrich this industry.There is no necessary step to fishery industry worker from our government. For this they cannot provide proper output. So our fishery industry cannot get batter placement in GDP.

Solution: To solve this problem, government must need to arrange various kinds of fisheries industry related training in rural areas for fishermen. Besides government organization, privet agencies can arrange professional development training for fishermen.


Impact of climate change:

Problem: Every year fishermen have to face great problems for the reasons of climate change. It destroys many fisheries and hatcheries every yearand will have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people who depend on fishing for their livelihoods.

According to the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAD), “This change will impact the biological economic and social aspects of many fisheries. Both positive and negative impacts are expected”.


Solution:If all kinds of people conscious about various kinds of pollution then we can minimize the impact of climate change.


Electricity problem:

Problem: Electricity is the most important elements of our fisheries industry. But it is not available in our country. Because of shortage electricity, theborne of fishes cannot survive. As a result the output of fish production is fall.

Solution: If government produces much electricity, andreduce corruption in electricity sector we can overcome this problem. If we save electricity in our everyday life, we can save much electricity.


Water pollution:

Problem: Water pollution is a problem with the fishing industries because when factories and such dump or spill chemicals into lakes, rivers, streams etc….they can kill fish and underwater plant life, Which can be pretty serious because the rivers and such can lead to the oceans seas, Which will end up killing even more stuff. If this pollution continues at current rate, fishing industries in many nations will be severely damaged.

Solution: To reduce water pollution, industrial waste damping must be stopped. If government implements some rules against water pollution then we can protect our fishery industry.


Various diseases:

Problem: Diseases are the foremost problem of fishery industries. Every year many fishes have to die for the reasons of various fish diseases. Some important diseases of fishes are:-Columnaris, Gill Disease, Ick, Dropsy, Fin-rot, Fungal, Infections, Hole in the Head, Pop-Eye, Cloudy Eye, Swim Bladder Disease, Fish Lice, Nematode Worms, Water Quality, Induced Diseases. Because of these diseases, fishery industries get hampered.

Solutions: To solve this problem, we take necessary treatment against various kinds’ of diseases. The fishermen have to know the cause of diseases and then treatment it. Understand that while salt is frequently used as a treatment/preventative for sick fish, it is no guarantee. It can even be dangerous to some fish (for example, cory catfish).There is nothing more important than maintaining a proper environment (temperature, water quality, aeration).



Bangladesh is a densely populated country of 147 570 kmwith a population of 130 million people. It is fortunate in having an extensive water resource in the form of ponds, natural depressions (haors and beels), lakes, canals, rivers and estuaries covering an area of 4.56 million ha (DoF, 2005).

Bangladesh is one of the world’s leading inland fisheries producer with a production of 1 646 819 tonnes during 2003–4, with marine catch total of 455 601 tonnes and a total production from aquaculture of 914 752 tonnes during 2003–4. Bangladesh’s total fish production for the year totaled above 2.1 million tonnes (DoF, 2005). FAO (2005) ranked Bangladesh as sixth largest aquaculture producing country with its estimated production of 856 956 tonnes in 2003 (FAO, 2005). Aquaculture accounted for about 43.5 percent of the total fish production during 2003–4, with inland open water fisheries contributed 34.8 percent (DoF, 2005).

The present per capita annual fish consumption in Bangladesh stands at about 14 kg/year against a recommended minimum requirement of 18 kg/year; hence there is still need to improve fish consumption in the country.

Fisheries in Bangladesh are diverse, there are about 795 native species of fish and shrimp in the fresh and marine waters of Bangladesh and 12 exotic species that have been introduced. In addition, there are 10 species of pearl bearing bivalves, 12 species of edible tortoise and turtle, 15 species of crab and 3 species of lobster.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MoFL), Department of Fisheries (DoF), Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC) and the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) are the main organisations responsible for aquaculture and its development. Universities, organisations within other ministries and local and international NGOs are also involved in this area.