Industry Desk: Shrimp farmers in the country’s southern region have become worried as ‘Bagda’ shrimps are dying in various enclosures due to various reasons including excessive heat.
Shrimp, also known as white gold, is one of the main sources of income in the southern region including in Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat districts.
Farmers said ‘Bagda’ shrimps in the enclosures are dying just before they are suitable for sale and so they have lost their capital in the beginning of the production season.
‘Bagda’ shrimps started to die at the beginning of production this year and despite following various advices of fisheries officials, shrimps’ death has not stopped, they said.
Fisheries experts said shrimps are dying due to lack of biosecurity, depth of enclosures, problems of water sources, oxygen shortage and food shortage.
Farmers in the region are devastated by the loss of capital invested in the enclosures and the pressure of repayment of loans from banks and NGOs have left in great frustration. Amid serious financial crisis, many are moving out of the area to find alternative work.
They are incurring huge losses as ‘Bagda shrimp’ between 35 and 45 days old have been dying just before the sale.
About the cultivation method, farmers said that at the end of the month of Magh, after the preparation of the enclosures in the southern region, the release of the fries starts.
Due to the problem of water extraction, many farmers start releasing fries in the middle of the month of Falgun. And it takes two to three months for these fries to be suitable for sale.
Taibur Rahman, a shrimp farmer of Deora village in Koyra upazila of Khulna, said, “I cultivated shrimp on three bighas of land. It began to die 37 days after release of fry. I hoped to start selling Bagda after 50-55 days but it did not happen.”
Abdul Hai, another shrimp farmer of the same area, said, “We cultivated Bagda on five bighas of land. I have to run the family with that income. After a month and 10 days, the fish start dying. I’m running the family on loan. I was forced to leave the enclosure behind and go out to work.”
Abu Daud of Ashashuni upazila of Satkhira said most of the shrimp in their area are dying at the age of 35 to 45 days. Some farmers started selling Bagdas when they were young and somehow managed to raise money to release them.
Bidyut Mondal, president of Mongla Upazila Fish Farmers Association in Bagerhat district, said, “The big problem at present is that Bagda shrimp aged 35 to 45 days are dying. This year, most of the shrimp in the enclosures died after being one and a half inches in size. The situation is little better now, but shrimps keeps dying. Once the fries start dying in an enclosure, the neighbouring enclosures are also affected. And it takes about two to three months to fix the environment of the enclosures. However, if the fries die for the second time, there is no end to the loss of farmers.”
According to the district fisheries office, there are 20,430 Bagda cultivation enclosures in Khulna covering 32,998 hectares land. There are 66,597 Bagda cultivation enclosures in Satkhira district covering 78,240 hectares land.
Senior Upazila Fisheries Officer of Koyra in Khulna Aminur Haque said, “EMS (early mortality syndrome) has been occurring in some places recently. As a result, shrimp die within 40 to 45 days. It is probably caused by bacteria called Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio herbi. There is also a problem due to the rise in temperature.”
“To prevent this, nets should be used around to ensure the biosecurity of the enclosures. The depth must be increased to maintain three to five feet of water all times. In addition, good aquaculture methods should be adopted in addition to releasing virus-free fries,” he said.
Satkhira District Fisheries Officer Anisur Rahman said, “We have given necessary advice on what to do for shrimp farmers.”
Khulna District Fisheries Officer Joydeb Pal said, “Samples have been sent to the lab. The exact reason cannot be ascertained until the report is received. However, due to excessive heat Bagda is dying. Disease might be the reason behind their death. In this case, there is no alternative to increasing the depth.”
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