Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said fish production in the country has increased by more than 50 per cent in the last 11 years.
Citing latest report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Prime Minister said, Bangladesh has risen to the second position in the world in terms of the growth rate of freshwater fish production.
Sheikh Hasina came up with the information while inaugurating the National Fisheries Week 2020 formally on Wednesday morning by releasing fish fingerlings into the lake of her official residence Ganabahaban in the city.
Sheikh Hasina said as a result of investment in the fisheries sector, new jobs are being created on one hand and on the other hand the national economy is being enriched.
Realising the importance of the fish sector, the Awami League government has taken various effective and fruitful measures to protect the country's fisheries and boost fish production, she said.
“The country today is self-sufficient in fish production. At present, we are consuming 62.58 grams of fish against the daily demand of 60 grams per capita,” said the Prime Minister praising the role of the concerned for the development of this fish sector.
She thanked all the concerned, including the staff of the Department of Fisheries, for the way they continued to produce, market and export fish at risk amid the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
“This trend will have to be continued for the interest of the country,” she said.
Not only meeting the nutrition demand of the country’s people by increasing the production of fish, but also generation of massive employment as well as earning foreign currencies from fish export are one of the government’s main targets, said the Prime Minister.
She recalled that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman officially released fish fry at Ganabhaban Lake in 1973 to inspire the people to increase fish production through farming.
The Father of the Nation had mentioned that fish alongside jute, leather and tea as the export products of Bangladesh as well as hoped that fisheries would be the second major source for earning of foreign currencies.
The Prime Minister has asked the people to protect the native species of fish from extinction coming out of the traditional fish farming methods by adopting advanced and modern systems.
She said there are some 475 species of marine fish and more than 250 varieties of freshwater fish in the country.
“There is also a huge demand for shrimp, crabs, snails and other fisheries resources in the regional and international markets,” she added.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said some 6.5 million people got employed in the fish sector in the last 11 years and income of fish farmers and fishers increased.
Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Rawnak Mahmud, PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present on the occasion.
This year, the Fisheries Week is being observed from July 21 to 27 with the theme ‘Machh Utpadan Briddhi Kori, Shukhi Samriddha Desh Gori’ (Let us increase fish production and build a happy and prosperous country).