Bangladesh stood 3rd in fish exports
Mahfuz Emran: Fish is one of the driving forces of the rural economy of Bangladesh. The country’s progress and achievements in fish farming are unprecedented. Bangladesh now ranks third in the world in domestic and farmed fish production. Fish and fish products are being exported to 52 countries of the world to meet the demand. Thousands of crores of foreign currency are coming. Despite the situation of Corona and global recession, the success of exporting fish is enviable. In the financial year 2021-22, the income from the fisheries sector is more than Tk 5,000 crore.
Continuing this trend, the government has taken various initiatives to further increase exports.
It is known that fish and fish products of Bangladesh are being exported to 52 countries. The top 10 exporting countries are – Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, China, India, France, America, Japan and Russia. The Netherlands is the top importer of Bangladeshi fish and fish products.
Despite the financial recession in the world market, a total of 74,042 metric tons of fish have been exported in the fiscal year 2021-22, including 3542 metric tons to the United States, 1366 metric tons to Japan, and 42,096 metric tons to other countries. The total income has been Tk 5,191.75 crore, which is 26.96 percent more than last year. Foreign currency earnings are expected to increase further in the future.
Stakeholders say that to increase the export of fish and fish products, safe fish supply activities have been taken by ensuring the quality of fish and fish products at every level from production to consumers. In particular, initiatives to implement e-traceability, aquaculture certification and branding, capacity building of fisheries quality control laboratories, and establishment of exclusive economic zones for fishery processing are noteworthy.
In addition, fish expo has been organized to encourage importers in the country and abroad to increase the export of fish and fish products, and the private sector has been encouraged to produce and market Bangladesh’s export-oriented products.
Supply of safe fish
One of the objectives of the Directorate of Fisheries is to ensure the production quality of safe, quality fish and fish products for export. To ensure the supply of healthy, safe products to the international market including the domestic market of the country, three international standard fish quality control laboratories are being operated.
Management systems based on Good Aquaculture Practices (GAP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) have been implemented at all levels of shrimp production in the country.
Fisheries and Fodder Act, 2010 to ensure safe food; Fisheries Rules 2010 and Fisheries and Fodder Production and Marketing Management Guidelines, 2020 have been formulated. This makes safe fish production easier. A new law titled ‘Fisheries and Fishery Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Act 2020’ is being framed and implemented.
Apart from this, regular inspections are being carried out for issuing/renewal of licenses of fish post-harvest supply chain establishments (shacks, depots, ice mills), processing plants etc. Consignment samples of products to be exported are checked regularly to ensure quality. The Directorate of Fisheries has implemented a technical assistance project titled ‘Post Harvest Loss Reduction in the Capture Fisheries Supply Chain’ to improve the skills of those concerned in the development of post-harvest care and supply systems to prevent fish degradation.
Apart from this, the ‘Fish and Fishery Products Official Control Protocol’ and ‘National Residue Control Plan-NRCP’ are being followed effectively in the inspection of all establishments involved in fish farming and processing, starting from fish hatcheries.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sh. Rezaul Karim told that the current government’s various initiatives and sponsorships have brought incredible success in the country’s fisheries sector. Bangladesh is now self-sufficient in fish production. Our success in fish production has also gained international recognition. In addition to the third position in the world in the production of inland open water fish, Bangladesh has also recently achieved the third position in the world in farmed fish.
Bangladesh is one of the three countries in the world that have shown success in fish production despite the corona crisis. The fish of Bangladesh is being exported abroad to meet the food and nutritional needs of the people of the country. At present, 1.24 percent of the country’s export income comes from the fisheries sector. Fish is exported to more than 50 countries in the world. In the fiscal year 2021-22, 74,42.67 metric tons of fish and fish products have been exported and earned Tk 5,191.75 crore, which is 26.96 percent more than last year.
The minister said that the government is implementing various programs with the aim of converting fish into one of the country’s export sectors by increasing exports. Safe and quality fish production and supply is critical. Three International Standard Fisheries Quality Control Laboratories are being set up and operated under the Directorate of Fisheries to supply healthy, safe fish and fishery products to the international market. The Fisheries and Fishery Products Quality Control Act 2020 has been enacted.
He further said that good fishery practices are being practiced at all levels of shrimp production in the country. A Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) manual has been formulated to ensure safe and quality shrimp production in line with international market demands. The ‘Aquaculture Medicinal Products Control Guidelines’ have been formulated and are being implemented at the field level to regulate the use of drugs at the aquaculture level.
A National Residue Control Plan has been formulated every year since 2008 for monitoring the residue contamination of harmful chemicals including banned antibiotics at various stages of production and fish and shrimp samples are being tested accordingly.
Rezaul Karim also said that the government has taken all kinds of steps to transform fish into one of the country’s export sectors by increasing fish exports.
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