Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday stressed the importance of maintaining the international standard of fish and fish products for export as riverine Bangladesh can grab the first position in the world in producing fish from inland water bodies.
"It's very essential to maintain the quality of fish (and fish products) which we're exporting to foreign markets," she said while inaugurating the National Fish Week 2019 in the capital city.
The Prime Minister said once there was no good laboratory to ensure the quality of fish and fish products in the country, but her government set up three ISO-accredited laboratories in Dhaka, Chattogram, and Khulna to maintain the international standard of fish and fish products.
The Department of Fisheries under the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry arranged the event at the auditorium of Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB), reports UNB.
"The fish which we'll export should be of good quality so that those can enter the international markets," Sheikh Hasina said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that there had been some unpleasant incidents over fish export while shrimp export faced suspension in the past when BNP was in power.
Assuming office in 1996, she said, the Awami League government resumed the shrimp export.
The Prime Minister said the fish production in the last 10 years has increased by 58.35 per cent to about 4.277 million metric tonnes. "Our target is to increase the production to 4.5 million metric tonnes, not to remain stuck at 4.277 million metric tonnes."
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's report of 2018, Bangladesh ranked third in producing fish from inland water bodies in the world, she noted.
"Bangladesh is a riverine country. In sha'a Allah, we'll be able to grab the first place (in the world) in the future coming out of the third place," Hasina said.
At the inaugural ceremony, the Prime Minister also distributed 'National Fisheries Award 2019' among a number of individuals and organisations for their contributions to the fisheries sector.
A video presentation was made depicting the country's success in the fisheries sector.
State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru presided over the function, while Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Md Raisul Alam Mondal delivered the welcome speech.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu was present at the dais.
Director General of Fisheries Department Abu Sayed Md Rashedul Haque conducted the award distribution function.
Later, the Prime Minister opened a fish fair on the KIB premises.