A state body suggests supplying cash incentive to exporters of chilled fish with an eye to helping boost export of the sector.
The Business Promotion Council (BPC) under commerce ministry currently offers different initiatives to boost export growth.
It has recently requested the ministry for steps to incentivise exporters of such fish.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Live and Chilled Food Exporters Association (BLCFEA) sought to provide a 25-per cent cash incentive.
The BLCFEA got membership of the council in 2020.
The state-run agency has recently requested the ministry to take action in this connection.
"We've requested the government to take action regarding cash incentive for the export of chilled fish to increase export earnings," says an official.
The frozen fish sector currently enjoys 7.0-10 per cent cash incentive on shrimp exports and 2.0-5.0 per cent on other fish exports.
Presently, members of the association export crab, eel and chilled fish. The sector enjoys a 10-per cent export subsidy for crab and eel exports.
The exporters have been severely affected due to the spread of Covid-19, according to a letter it earlier sent to the fisheries department.
The association thinks that the export of chilled fish is riskier than that of frozen fish.
This is unfortunate that the product is being deprived of the government's cash incentive facility, it argues.
Exporters suggest that the government give incentive to chilled fish exports to help offset the pandemic-induced losses as the sector has huge export potential.
Khairuddin Ahmed, chairman of the association, earlier said, "Traders in this sector have suffered huge losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the past two years."
He called for incentives to make up for the losses. Without the direct state care, the traders of this sector would not be able to recover.
Frozen shrimp, rupchanda, tilapia, rui, katla and other freshwater and sea fish are exported to Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and countries in Europe.
On average, Bangladesh exports Tk 1.50-2.0 billion worth of chilled fish annually, according to the association.
Chilling is a process by which the temperature of fish is lowered to a point near freezing but not below it by means of heat withdrawal, according to an article available on Research Gate.
The freezing point for different fish species varies between -0.6?C and -2.2?C and depends on the concentration of cell fluids.
It is usually taken as equal to -1?C. Fish and fishery products processed in this way are called as chilled products, reads the webpage.