Bangladesh has become the fourth largest inland freshwater fish producer in the world and will soon be meeting its internal demand for fish, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Muhammed Sayedul Hoque has said.
“The 16 million population has an annual demand for 4.2 million tonnes of fish,” he said on Tuesday at a press brief on the launch of the National Fisheries Week-2015.
Bangladesh has been on the top five list of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN for the last 12 years.
Recent data shows the country’s produce is exceeded by only China, India and Myanmar.
Government initiatives have upped the number to 3.5 million tonnes from the 2.7 million tonnes of 2008-09 fiscal.
The minister added 2 million fishermen would be given identification documents from the government within 2015.
Tk 11.9 million was handed out in grants to the families of 247 fishermen killed out in the seas over the last three years.
Pointing out that Hilsha constitutes nearly 11 percent of the sector’s earnings, Minister Hoque said the ban on Hilsha fishing during breeding season has been extended to 15 days to ensure more production.
He added initiatives had been taken to form a ‘Hilsha Development Trust Fund’ for sustainable produce of the popular fish.
A rally was taken out from the Matsya Bhaban earlier in the day to mark the start of the week.