The World Bank (WB) is set to lend $240 million as industrial loan to help improve management and production in marine and coastal fisheries and aquaculture.
To this end, an agreement was signed at the Economic Relations Division by Kazi Shofiqul Azam on behalf of the government and Zahid Hussain, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh.
The Washington-based global lending agency will le3nd the money under the Sustainable and Marine Fisheries Project, as per a UNB report.
The help improve fisheries management systems, infrastructure, value chain investments, and encourage private sector investment to increase the availability and quality of sea fish, said WB.
It will also support reforms in fisheries policies and regulations.
"In the last decade, the fisheries sector accounted for around 4.0 per cent of the Bangladesh's economy and is the country's second largest export earning sector after garments," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
"World Bank financing will aim to expand coastal and marine fisheries with the goal of further increasing the fisheries sector's contribution to the economy."
In 16 coastal districts, the project will set up community co-management associations with fishing communities, enabling them to adopt supplementary and alternative livelihoods.
While empowering fishing communities, especially women through skill development and nutrition awareness, the project will also establish 100 model fishing villages.
The current fisher identity card system will be expanded under the project and linked with the geographic information system platform.
Vessel registration and licensing for fishing will also be improved. In addition, the project will help the government conduct stock surveys and assessments for shrimp and sea fish stocks and strengthen monitoring systems for industrial and artisanal fisheries.
"For Bangladesh, the fisheries sector is a major driver for growth. The marine and coastal fisheries have significant potential for sustainable and higher production," said Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division.
"The project will directly contribute to Bangladesh's Blue Economy initiatives."
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