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Legal status of Bangladesh fisheries: Issues and Responses

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Based on secondary data, this paper examines the current legal status of Bangladesh fisheries and constraints in the implementation of fisheries laws. It is identified that twelve fisheries regulations are executed for the regulation and management of the fisheries resources in Bangladesh. Among these laws, a few are historically important for the regulating and managing of fisheries. These laws are implemented with some amendments for the development of legal mechanisms for fisheries development of Bangladesh. The implementations of these laws often met limited success due to a number of shortcomings in the legislations. The constraints in the implementation are the lack of clear policy guidelines and strategy; inadequacy of existing regulatory framework, non-enforcement of legislation and jurisdictional conflicts, the absence of regular law review and updating mechanism and formulation of by-laws, rules, orders etc. Finally, this study submits that for sustainable management of fisheries resources of Bangladesh a comprehensive legal framework is required.
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Indian Journal of Geo Marine Sciences
Vol. 45 (11), November 2016, pp. 1474-1480
Legal status of Bangladesh fisheries: Issues and Responses
Md. Mostafa Shamsuzzaman1,2*, Xu Xiangmin1 & Mohammad Mahmudul Islam2
1 Environmental & Resources Protection Law, School of Law & Political Science, Ocean University of China, Qingdao-266100,
China
2 Department of Coastal and Marine Fisheries, Faculty of Fisheries, Sylhet Agricultural University, Sylhet-3100, Bangladesh
*[sakilimsf@gmail.com]
Received 29 March 2016; revised 11 April 2016
Based on secondary data, this paper examines the current legal status of Bangladesh fisheries and constraints in the
implementation of fisheries laws. It is identified that twelve fisheries regulations are executed for the regulation and
management of the fisheries resources in Bangladesh. Among these laws, a few are historically important for the
regulating and managing of fisheries. These laws are implemented with some amendments for the development of legal
mechanisms for fisheries development of Bangladesh. The implementations of these laws often met limited success due
to a number of shortcomings in the legislations. The constraints in the implementation are the lack of clear policy
guidelines and strategy; inadequacy of existing regulatory framework, non-enforcement of legislation and jurisdictional
conflicts, the absence of regular law review and updating mechanism and formulation of by-laws, rules, orders etc.
Finally, this study submits that for sustainable management of fisheries resources of Bangladesh a comprehensive legal
framework is required.
[Keywords: Bangladesh Fisheries, Fisheries Legal Framework, Sustainable Fisheries Management]
Introduction
Fish and fisheries have been an essential part of
the livelihoods of the people of Bangladesh from the
time immemorial, and play a major role in nutrition,
employment, foreign exchange earnings and other
aspects of the economy1. Fish is a natural
complement to rice in the national diet of the people
of Bangladesh which solely supplies about 60% of
animal protein intake2, 3. Some 15 million people
(out of a total population of 155 million) are
estimated to be either directly or indirectly
employed in the fisheries sector, 73 percent of rural
households are involved in aquaculture4, 5, 6. This
accounts for 4.37 % of national GDP, while
providing more than 2% of export earnings and
provides employment for more than 2 million
people7, 8. The first fisheries legislation was enacted
in the year of 1757 with the introduction of the
permanent settlement, Act by the British colonial
ruler in the Indian subcontinent. Till then, there are
a number of laws, policies are enacted which is
represented in a later section.
In terms of fishery policy, experts opined as an
incomprehensible and temporary policy which is
followed by inappropriate and inadequate
legislation, institutional incoordination and
weakness, conflicting and fluctuating decisions of
the government. It is, therefore, necessary to
examine the legal status and managerial procedure
of the fisheries of Bangladesh and to identify the
major issues which should be solved immediately
for sustainable development of the fisheries of
Bangladesh. The objectives of this paper are to
examine legal aspects in the Bangladesh fisheries
sectors, and to assess the problems constraining the
maximum utilization of their potential.
Materials and Methods
This study was conducted using the information
from different secondary sources. All the data were
collected from scientific research and gray literature
published in different forms (e.g. peer-reviewed
journals, periodicals and government gazettes).
‘Fisheries resources’, ‘Inland fisheries’, ‘Marine
fisheries resources’, ‘Legal issues’, ‘Fisheries
policies, laws, ordinances in Bangladesh’ etc. were
the keywords for searching the information. Further
information was also collected through visiting
different relevant institute e.g. Bangladesh Fisheries
Development Corporation, Directorate of Fisheries
of the Bangladesh Government. All of these
gathered data were reviewed; synthesized, and
relevant information was used.
INDIAN J. MAR. SCI., Vol. 45, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2016
Results and Discussion
The Status of Fisheries Resources in Bangladesh
Inland Fisheries Resources
Bangladesh is one of the largest deltas in the
world with three major river systems, i.e. the
Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna (GBM)
that harbors diverse and rich fisheries resources9. In
a total of 939,073 ha of rivers, tributaries, and
canals, there are 250,727 ha of ‘beel’, ‘haor’ and
water saturated areas, 8,800,000 ha of agriculture
land (partially flooded during the rainy season) and
51,739 ha of lake areas which all are important
aquatic habitat having a rich fisheries biodiversity.
Freshwater fishes of Bangladesh are the third richest
in biodiversity in the world, following those of
China and India10. Total inland fish production in
2012-2013 was 2,821,266 MT, contributing about
83% of total fisheries production7. Though there is
steady growth observed in inland fish production
(both in capture and culture
activities) in the last three decades (from 0 .75
million MT to 3.5 million MT) 11. Figure 1
showing district wise capture and culture fish
productions.
Figure 1. District wise Inland open water (capture) fisheries
map. (Source: DoF, 2014).
Coastal and Marine Fisheries
With the Bay of Bengal in the south,
Bangladesh is blessed with rich coastal and marine
ecosystems, hosting a wide range of aquatic
biodiversity, such as fishes, shrimps, mollusks,
crabs, mammals, seaweeds, etc. The harvest of
marine capture fisheries was 379,497 MT during
2000-2001 that ramped up to 588,988 MT in 2012-
2013 and sold as frozen (transported to large cities
and overseas) or fresh in local markets10. Hilsa shad
(Tenualosa ilisha) is the largest and single most
valuable species with an annual catch of 340,000
MT, and generates employment and income for 2.5
million people valued at $US 1.3 billion per
year12,13. Table 1 shows sector wise annual fish
production in inland and marine fisheries of
Bangladesh during 2013-201414.
Legal Status of the Fisheries Resources in
Bangladesh
There are different regulatory management
procedures for different types of fisheries in
Bangladesh. In order to understand the legal status
of the fisheries of Bangladesh, it is convenient to
divide the fisheries into three categories, namely:
inland open water (capture) fisheries, inland closed
water (culture) fisheries and marine fisheries15.
Inland Fisheries Legal Framework
Under the Permanent Settlement Regulation (No.
1 of 1793), proclaimed by the then Governor
General of India, Zaminders (Landlords) in Bengal
had obtained ownership of fisheries which were
termed as Jalmahals’. Zaminders used to keep the
Jalmahals under their direct control and
supervision. Fishing in these Jalmahals used to be
managed by the Zaminders through a system of
leasing for a certain period, which was usually one
Bengali year16. With the commencement of the
State Acquisition and Tenancy Act of 1951, the
Zamindari system was abolished and all Jalmahals
were vested in the then East Pakistan Government.
Under a presidential order, all Jalmahals were
transferred from the Ministry of Land (MOL) to the
Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MOFL).
Though the fisheries is one the most important
renewable natural resources of Bangladesh, the term
was not legally defined till 16 February, 1995. At
that time the Protection and Conservation of Fish
Act 1950 was amended by the Protection and
Conservation of Fish (Amendment) Act 199517.
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Table 1. Sector-wise annual fish production in inland and marine fisheries 2013-14 (Source: DoF, 2015)
Sector of Fisheries Water Area
(Hectare)
Production
(Metric Ton)
% Productivity
A. Inland Fisheries
(i) Inland Open Water (Capture)
1. River and Estuary 853863 167373 4.72% 196 Kg/ha
2. Sunderbans 177700 18366 0.52% 103 Kg/ha
3. Beel 114161 88911 2.51% 779 Kg/ha
4. Kaptai Lake 68800 8179 0.23% 119 Kg/ha
5. Floodplain 2695529 712976 20.09% 265 Kg/ha
Capture Total 3910053 995805 28.07%
(ii) Inland Closed Water (Culture)
6. Pond 371309 1526160 43.01% 4110 Kg/ha
7. Seasonal cultured water body 130488 193303 5.45% 1481 Kg/ha
8. Baor 5488 6514 0.18% 1187Kg/ha
9. Shrimp/Prawn Farm 275274 216447 6.10% 786 Kg/ha
10. Pen Culture 6775 13054 0.37% 1927 Kg/ha
11. Cage Culture 7 1447 0.04% 22 Kg/cum
Culture Total 789341 1956925 55.15%
Inland Fisheries Total 4699394 2952730 83.22%
B. Marine Fisheries
12. Industrial (Trawl) 76885 2.17%
13. Artisanal 518500 14.61%
Marine Fisheries Total 595385 16.78%
COUNTRY TOTAL 3548115 100%
At present, there are about 10,000 fisheries
Jalmahals covering rivers and tributaries, estuaries,
canals, haors, baors and beels which are all owned
by the Ministry of Land (MoL)18,19. These inland
fisheries are classified into two categories; Inland
open water (capture) fisheries and Inland closed
water (culture) fisheries20.
Inland Open Water (Capture) Fisheries
Management Strategies
The open water fisheries have been defined as
those fisheries which are not surrounded by the land
and in which fishing cannot be regulated for a
certain period for ensuring the minimum growth of
the stock20. The basic mechanism for managing
fishery resources in inland open waters of
Bangladesh have been based on the allocation of
fishing rights through periodic leasing. The MoL
directly owns the rivers, their tributaries and
seasonal as well as perennial wetlands. For the sole
purpose of revenue generation, the MoL leases out
Jalmahals to Ijaradars through auction. Through
the auction process, the lease is given to the highest
bidder. The river fisheries and the seasonal beel
fisheries are normally leased out for a term of one
year, while the permanent beels are leased out for a
3-year term. Some beel fisheries and group fisheries
are leased out to the same lessee for 6 years and in
rare cases, up to 9 years. The government makes
rules, policies, guidelines, circulars etc. time to time
and regulates the open water fisheries of
Bangladesh. The MoL in memorandum states that
management of all open water fisheries would be
treated as a source of income of Thana (sub-district)
and such portion of the revenue would be
distributed of different Thana on the basis of the
area and population21.
The government of Bangladesh in the Ministry of
Fisheries and Livestock (MOFL) in 1986 initiated
the “New Fisheries Management Policy” (NFMP) to
achieve a number of objectives such as diversion of
maximum benefits arising out of fish harvesting in
government owned fisheries to the actual fishermen
toiling on the water from the middlemen
leaseholders who have been, hitherto, taking away
the lion’s share of the benefit’s from such fishing
activates, and to develop and implement measures
to ensure sustainability of living fisheries resources
so that fishery productivity of inland open waters
can be sustained20. Access to fishing right in the
Government owned fisheries brought under NFMP
are to be given to fishermen residing within the
Upazilla and District in which the concerned fishery
is located. This will be done through issuing
licenses directly to such fishermen. All genuine
fishermen of the area around each fishery under
NFMP are to be properly identified and enlisted22.
The committees should be composed of relevant
officials and non-officials, including a local
representative of the National Fishermen Society.
These committees are to review and approve the list
of fishermen to be prepared by the Upazilla
Fisheries Officer and renewable annual licenses are
to be issued to the fishermen whose names appear in
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the list prepared by the Upazilla Fisheries Officer
and approved by the Upazila and District Fisheries
Management Coordination Committees22. Each
license will be subject to a license fee to be paid by
the fisherman. The amount of fee is determined on
the basis of ability and efficiency of fishing gears
and devices, i.e., nets, traps etc. the collected fees
will go towards the payment of total Government
revenue which the MoL would otherwise have
earned by leasing the fishery under its normal
procedure. Although the NFMP addresses the
problems of overfishing and exploitation of small-
scale fishermen by the middlemen, its impact and
success are less clear. Irregularities and
malpractices in leasing fishing rights are widely
reported, thus circumventing the intent of the
policy.
Inland Closed Water (culture) Fisheries
Management Strategies
The ‘Closed Water Fisheries’ has been defined as
those fisheries which are confined within specific
boundaries20. For the settlement of a lease of closed
water fisheries, it had been categorized in three
classes, namely-Jalmahals having an area up to 3
ha, closed Jalmahals on less than 20 acres and
closed jalmahals of above 20 acres. Different
management procedures were followed to regulate
those fisheries.
The jurisdiction to lease out closed water
fisheries having the highest lease value of Tk.
30,000, based on the lease value received in a
Bengali year, should be vested in the respective
Union Parishad within which the fishery is situated.
After holding the auction, the Union tender
committee (constituted for leasing Hats and
Bazaars) should submit a recommendation/opinion
at the meeting of the Union Parishad for
consideration and approval23. The concerned
Upazilla Nirbahi Officer (UNO), after holding an
auction of water bodies having a lease value of
more than Tk. 30,000 should submit his
recommendation/opinion at the meeting of the
Upazilla Development Coordinating Committee for
consideration and approval23. One or more
Jalmahals, having lease value up to Tk. 30,000
would be vested for lashing out with the Union
Parishad. If the lease value of more than one
jalmahals exceeds Tk. 30,000 should lie with Union
Parishad and others would be vested with Upazilla
Nirbahi Officer (UNO) for leasing purpose24. The
Local Government Institutions such as the
municipality/ city corporation shall lease jalmahals
within their geographical boundary and income
from the lease shall be deemed to be the income of
concerned Paurashava/City Corporation24. In the
case of Jalmahals located in more than one Union,
but in the same Thana, the UNO shall lease it out,
with the approval of the concerned Upazilla
Development Coordinating Committee24. Similarly,
Jalmahals expanded within more than one Thana
will be leased out by District Commissioner24. The
leases of all Jalmahals have to be settled by
fishermen cooperative society and indigent’s
cooperative society, women cooperative society and
indigent’s cooperative society. For this purpose a
selection committee shall be constituted at Thana
level in the following manner - UNO - Convener,
Upazilla Cooperative Officer-Member, Upazilla
Fisheries Officer-Member, Assistant Commissioner
(Land) - Member, Two representatives nominated
by the National Fisheries Co-operative Society and
a distinguished person nominated by the convener.
Such committee after considering and selection of
genuine cooperative society shall prepare a list and
send it to Chairman, Union Parishad and UNO. The
concerned Union tender Committee/ UNO shall
invite interested, cooperative societies to participate
in the auction at 25% higher than the leasing value
of last year. If the highest bid is not satisfactory,
such as Jalmahals shall be leased out by open
auction24. The settlement of lease to transfer the
Jalmahals can be made for three years.
Legal Issues Governing Marine Fisheries in
Bangladesh
The marine capture fishery comprises two distinct
subsections co-existing side by side each other:
large scale commercially (commonly referred to as
industrial fisheries in Bangladesh) and artisanal and
subsistence fisheries. This dual structure clearly
manifests itself in the fishing technology employed.
According to Figure 2, Bangladesh's EEZ indicating
competing and understandably conflicting uses of
space in the sea, a scenario like which may act as an
entry point for initiating Marine Spatial Planning
(MSP) for Bay of Bengal25.
According to the United Nations Convention on
The Law of the Sea, 1982 the breadth of the
territorial sea is up to a limit not exceeding 12
nautical miles which are measured from baselines
determined in accordance with the convention26.
Also in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the
jurisdiction over the law in respect to the
management, conservation, and development of the
living marine resources is being extended. The
Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974
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describes that the Government of Bangladesh (GoB)
may by notification in the official Gazette, declare
any zones of the high seas adjacent to the territorial
waters to be the economic zone of Bangladesh. All
natural living and non-living resources within the
economic zone shall vest exclusively in the
Republic26, 27. A license is issued under this
Ordinance in accordance with the carrying capacity
of a fishing vessel which is valid for a period of not
more than one year and is subject to certain
conditions. The foreign marine fishing operation is
restricted in Bangladesh fisheries waters except with
license. The Director may refuse, suspended or
cancel any license in respect of a foreign fishing
vessel on the ground of improper management,
conservation, development etc. Until recently the
definition function of fisheries management policies
has been little if any vast development in reaching
their goals (Table 2).
Major Problems and Recommendations for Proper
Enforcement and Management
There are a number of major problems and issues
which are prevalent in the fisheries management in
Bangladesh. There is a dearth of appropriate
legislation from the management perspective except
for the Marine Fisheries Ordinance, 1983. There are
a few legislations bearing provisions on the
protection of fish but these enactments were
primarily attempted to protect the fishes and private
fisheries but not specific regarding the management
of the government fisheries. This sort of indefinite
management procedure always creates inter and
intra-sectoral confusion and the chaotic situation
between lessor and lessee. Consequently, several
litigations are filed in the courts. Most of the
fisheries are owned by the Ministry of Land and the
Ministry of Environment and Forest. The inter-
sectorial incoordination regarding management
results in a lot of inconvenience to the leaseholders.
Institutional weakness is one of the causes for
fisheries resource depletion. The lack of
institutional accountability adds to the disarray. The
diversified duties of protection, exploitation,
planning and training should be assigned to a single
professional cadre. Since the Department of
Fisheries (DoF) is responsible for the protection and
conservation of fishes, it seems better to have the
managerial duty done by DoF.
Implementation of various water resources
development projects has reduced and altered the
fish habitats. These alterations have caused a serious
threat to the continuation of fish production and
maintenance of species diversity in the open
waters27. The Protection and Conservation of Fish
Rules, 1985 contain provisions that no person shall
construct bunds, weirs, dams, and embankments or
any other structure, whether temporary or
permanent, in, on across or over the rivers, canals,
or beels (perennial waterbodies) for any purpose
other than irrigation, flood control or drainage. But
whatever the purpose may be any dam or cross dam
always constraint the normal flow of the water and
Table 2: Related fishery policies, laws, rules acts and ordinances in Bangladesh32, 33, 34, 35
Fisheries Laws Main issues
The Private Fisheries Protection Act, 1889 This act provides for the protection of private rights for fishing.
The Protection and Conservation of Fish Act, 1950 Conservation of fisheries resources as a whole. The text of the Act consists
of 9 sections: Short title, extent, and commencement
The Protection and Conservation Fish Rules, 1985 Regulations on protection and conservation of fish. The text contains 11
sections about various measures of protection and conservation
The Fish and Fish Product (Inspection and quality control)
Ordinance, 1983
Quality control, fish and shrimp, mainly targeting export
The Fish and Fish Products (Inspection & Quality Control)
Rules, 1997
Quality control, fish and shrimp, mainly targeting export
Marine Fisheries Ordinance, 1983 Marine fisheries conservation & management
Marine Fisheries Rules, 1983 Marine fisheries conservation & management
Pond Development Act, 1939 The purposes of the Act are for irrigation and pisciculture
National Fisheries Policy, 1998
Conservation, management, exploitation, marketing, quality control and
institutional development
National Shrimp Policy, 2014
Flourish the shrimp industry, raise employment opportunity, alleviate
poverty, export earnings and meet up the nutritional demand of the people
Territorial Water and Maritime Zone Act, 1974 Conservation, management & development of marine fisheries
Territorial Water and Maritime Zone Rules, 1977 Conservation of marine fisheries
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INDIAN J. MAR. SCI., Vol. 45, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2016
affects the fisheries. So, the relevant amendment is
necessary. Pollution of the open water aquatic
environment caused by different pollutants has
threatened the existence of fish, prawn, and other
aquatic living organisms27. The current fisheries
management practices, as pursued by the GoB, are
aimed at generating revenue. The basic mechanism
for managing fishery resources in inland open
waters of Bangladesh has been used introduced for
these purpose in selected sites on an experimental
basis, the traditional leasing system which is more
revenue oriented than the fishermen or resources
oriented policy is still the dominant management
mechanism. The revenue oriented management
systems have several drawbacks28. First, with the
purpose of obtaining the maximum benefit, the
lessees tend to allow the harvesting of as much fish
as possible without any consideration whatsoever
for conservation, future production and resources
sustenance. As a result, overfishing in Jalmahals
over the years has become a common occurrence.
Second, because of the short-term nature of the
lease in most fisheries, leaseholders have no
incentive to undertake conservation measures for
rehabilitation of the stock removed annually or for
the preservation of the water bodies and the third
one, since DoF has no control over the fisheries,
meaningful enforcement of the laws is difficult.
Enforcement of fishing regulations or other such
lease conditions is the responsibility of the leasing
agencies (Department of Revenue, Department of
Forests, etc.). The agencies show little interest to
monitor adherence to lease agreements apartments
apart from ensuring that the payment is made on
schedule.
The following policies should be taken into
consideration for sustained enhancement of fisheries
production in open waters. Damage done to fish and
fish habitats during the implementation of all
development activities such as flood control,
irrigation and drainage, agriculture, industries, road
and urban projects, shall be kept at a minimal level
and programmes for mitigation of such loss shall be
undertaken. Production based management in the
interest of genuine fishermen shall be introduced
instead of the existing lease based management
system to promote the conservation of open water
fisheries resources. The harvesting of fish shall be
kept at the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY)
level. Priority should be given to fish culture in the
low-lying lands of the country were 50 cm or more
of water is retained or can be retained during the
rainy season for more than three months. Steps
should be taken to control the harvesting of gravid
fish and fingerlings in order to enhance their
breeding and propagation. The capture of the
banned size of hilsa and other species should be
prevented through the implementation of fisheries
regulations. According to Ullah et al, 2014, the
true catch of Bangladesh marine fisheries from
1950-2010 is 157% greater than the official
landings reported to FAO. This is largely due to the
ignorance of subsistence catch in the total reported
catch. They suggested that Bangladesh’s growth
will not be sustainable, especially if the government
is managing marine populations based solely on
reported landings. This aspect is completely missing
in the legal aspects issues in managing coastal
marine fisheries of Bangladesh29. Water bodies are
damaged and the environment is polluted due to the
unplanned discharge of wastage. Therefore,
discharge of harmful municipal and industrial
wastes directly into the water bodies needs to be
considered a punishable crime. In addition, to the
existing enforcement agencies, the local government
administration in co-operation with the fishermen's
organizations shall be vested with the responsibility
of implementing the regulations. Steps are required
to create awareness of different regulations at the
fishing community level. Finally, all water bodies of
the country should be identified and their primary
use as areas of fish production should be ensured.
Conclusion
The vision 2021 of the Bangladesh Government
targeted to achieve its goals of self-sufficiency in
food and thus increased food security, which
includes attaining self-sufficiency in fish production
for which a clear long-term policy is needed. In the
development of fisheries policy, inter-government
departmental coordination, coordination between
Government and NGOs, and the stimulation of
public response are important. Following the
fisheries policy, the GoB must enact a
comprehensive legal framework for the proper
management and utilization of its resources for the
purposes of the sustainable development of the
country and well-being of its population.
Acknowledgment
The author is acknowledged to Chinese Scholarship
Council (CSC) for giving fund to done such types of
works and field survey in Bangladesh. The authors
also grateful to all respected teachers of the School
of Law and Political Sciences of Ocean University
of China (OUC) China, Sylhet Agricultural
University, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers
Association (BELA) and Department of Fisheries
(DoF), Bangladesh for providing recently updated
data about the whole fisheries sector of Bangladesh.
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1480

Supplementary resource (1)

... The inland capture fisheries are governed within 12 laws enacted in Bangladesh [15], whereas the vast marine water resources obtained only three acts and ordinances [23]. The proper implementation of these laws and policies is considered to be limited due to a lack of clear policy guidelines; lack of appropriate legislations; lack of a clear strategic direction; an inadequate existing regulatory framework; the lack or poor enforcement of regulations; political interference, the lack of community involvement in the management program, ignorance of conservation laws, exploitations by middlemen, corruption and irregularities of authorities and the absence of regular law review and updating mechanism of by-laws, rules, orders and so on [23,24]. All this leads to a weak management of inland and marine fishery resources throughout Bangladesh. ...
... Though the poor people are immediate gainers for violations of the laws, marine fisheries resources are illegally extracted and exploited by the influential middleman, supported by politicians and forest bureaucrats. There is a lack of intra and inter departmental coordination resulting in widespread inefficiency [24]. The FD has resisted sharing any functions with the DoF officials, local users, NGOs and other government agencies. ...
... The leasing contract of wetlands in Bangladesh found the following three categories; the lease allowed for 3 years, for 6 years under a development scheme as a maximum, though this was allowed for 5-10 years in the past under other ministries development projects rather than the MoFL [3]. Because of the short-term leasing nature in most fisheries, the leaseholders have no incentives to undertake conservation measures for rehabilitation of the stock or preservation [3,24]. The system, therefore, contributes only to a small extent to rational and long-term fishery management. ...
Article
Full-text available
With the aim to enhance production, alleviate poverty, meet animal protein demand, earn foreign currency and maintain ecological balance, the Bangladesh government has formulated the National Fisheries Policy 1998. Over the last two decades, this policy for safeguarding fisheries is still in practice but gets little attention by researchers and policy makers to assess its effectiveness. This study analyzes the fisheries policy frameworks and evaluates how policy changes affecting fisheries production with certain ecological balance. The paper describes elements in the historical process of the development of the national fisheries policy related to the issue of equal or restricted access to the fish resource. The findings suggest that changes in policy only could not offer solutions to prevent over exploitation and overcapitalization that presently exists in conventional open access fishery. In addition, key constraints underlying in between policies and in implementation of laws includes ignorance of conservation laws, overwhelmingly top-down decision-making, lack of appropriate policy goals, inadequate enforcement, outdated policy and bogus action strategy, lack of enforcement regulations against pollution, poor coordination and technical know-how of the personnel concerned. For achieving inclusive growth in the fisheries sector, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the government stated the Vision 2021, fisheries policy reform is recommended with special emphasis on marine fisheries sub section formulation, socio-economic development of relevant communities, updating of existing governance, and strengthening institutional capacity to appropriately manage this potential sector. Moreover, the existing regulations should be amended accordingly with clearly defined reliable enforcement authority.
... In Bangladesh, twelve fisheries laws have been identified towards execution for the regulation and management of the fisheries resources, wherein a few have been executed for regulating and managing of fisheries as well as protecting fish species. There are a few impediments for the proper execution of laws such as, lack of clear policy guidelines and strategy; insufficiency of existing regulatory framework; nonenforcement of legislation and jurisdictional clashes; the absence of standard law review and updating mechanism and formulation of by-laws, rules, orders and so on (Shamsuzzaman et al., 2016;Rahman et al., 2018). Shamsuzzaman et al. (2016) in their review paper, highlighted some major gaps in the existing fisheries related policies and documents, namely: For proper management and utilization of its resources within the purposes of the sustainable development of the country and welfare of its peoples, the Bangladesh Government must enact a comprehensive legal framework following the fisheries policy. ...
... There are a few impediments for the proper execution of laws such as, lack of clear policy guidelines and strategy; insufficiency of existing regulatory framework; nonenforcement of legislation and jurisdictional clashes; the absence of standard law review and updating mechanism and formulation of by-laws, rules, orders and so on (Shamsuzzaman et al., 2016;Rahman et al., 2018). Shamsuzzaman et al. (2016) in their review paper, highlighted some major gaps in the existing fisheries related policies and documents, namely: For proper management and utilization of its resources within the purposes of the sustainable development of the country and welfare of its peoples, the Bangladesh Government must enact a comprehensive legal framework following the fisheries policy. Concerned government institutions, development partners, professionals, researchers and non-government organizations can play important roles towards the development of the fisheries sector in commensurate with the national and international demands (Rahman et al., 2018). ...
... They are deprived of proper economic growth due to increased population, loss of employment and income from only specific period of time, tourism season; this problem often worsens due to climate change induced natural hazards that left the inhabitants with nearly no definite alternative source of income, and the locals also suggested for secondary livelihood with the present forms are essential for the coastal communities. What to do to improve their economy needs to be sought out and socio-economic assessments are required to ensure sustainable development and improvement of the community (Chowdhury et al., 2011;BOBLME, 2015;Shamsuzzaman et al., 2016;Barua et al., 2017;Mohammad et al., 2017;Islam and Shamsuddoha, 2018) St Martin's Island a small island in the northeast of the Bay of Bengal, about 9 km south of the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf peninsular tip and forming the southernmost part of Bangladesh. It is about 8 km west of the northwest coast of Myanmar at the mouth of the river Naf. ...
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Full-text available
Defensive potential of Coral Island of Bangladesh.pdf
... A practical and robust legal and institutional framework is missing to conserve overall marine biodiversity in Bangladesh [30,32,46,54,55]. No specific law regulates the capture of such species [30,32,56]. ...
Article
This study investigates the legalregime governing marine megafauna conservation in Bangladesh. The study found thatlack of data, weak domestic institutional structure, ineffective implementation, unsuitable enforcement agencies, and poor public policies limit the protection of the marine megafauna of conservation interest. In many cases, domestic legislation is not compatible with Bangladesh's international treaty obligations and duties. The study advocates significant legal reforms and a whole-of-government approach to strengthen the institutional framework for conserving marine megafauna in the Bay of Bengal. The strong coordination among public agencies, academics, and communities can build up an adequate institutional framework. Public policy and legal reform should focus on mitigating bycatch and reducing bycatch mortality, managing threats originating from non-fishing sources, and halting habitat degradation.
... In Bangladesh, industrial trawling beyond 40 m depth in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for shrimp and demersal fishes significantly contributes to the country's total marine landings [15,16], with shrimp playing a pivotal role. In 2019, shrimp contributed approximately 7% (42,749 metric tons) of total marine landings [17]. ...
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Full-text available
The two economically important shrimp species in Bangladesh are the tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon, and the brown shrimp, Metapenaeus monoceros. However, a continuous decline in the landing of these species from the industrial trawling made it critical to assess their stock biomass status to explore their response to the present degree of removal. Given the minimum data requirement and robustness, this study employed the depletion-based stock reduction analysis (DB-SRA) to assess these fisheries rigorously. For the industrial fishing zone (beyond the 40 m depth in the EEZ of Bangladesh), the estimated historic mean carrying capacity (K) was 5015 metric tons for the Penaeus monodon and 35,871 metric tons for Metapenaeus monoceros. The estimated overfishing limits (OFL), which were much smaller than the reported catches throughout the time series, indicate the overfishing status of these fisheries. As a result, the estimated biomass for the reference year (B2020) for both species was lower than BMSY, indicating that these fisheries are not producing MSY. Therefore, for the rebuilding and sustainable management of these stocks, this study recommended a catch limit of 100 metric tons for P. monodon and 750 metric tons for M. monoceros for the next ten years from biomass projections.
... A study investigates a present legal status of Bangladesh fisheries and constraints the application of fisheries law and finds that laws often met limited success due to a number of deficiencies in the national labor legislation. Lack of clear policy guidelines and strategy, non-enforcement of legislation and jurisdiction conflicts, inadequacy of existing regulatory framework, absence of regular law review and updating mechanism are the main constraints among others for implementation of labor legislation in Bangladesh (Shamsuzzaman et al., 2016). Fishers are workers according to Bangladesh Labour Act (2006) [s. 2 (65) BLA 2006]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article evaluates different factors under the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006 for promoting work satisfaction in the fish farming workers in Bangladesh. How far does this industry comply with standard labor laws adheres to international labor policy, and promotion of labor rights is another focus of this study. This study shows that yearly increment, overtime payment, weekly holiday, amount of compensation, appointment by appointment letter, and job security significantly influence the fish farming workers’ minds in Bangladesh. The Qualitative part of the study finds that the State must protect the workers’ rights by enacting a standard labor policy that adheres to international instruments, which it is unwilling to do so. This study helps in evaluating the opinion of the fishers’ work satisfaction as well as policy planning for the development of the fish farming industry. It will add value by creating awareness of labor rights in the Asian developing setting.
... Evidence from multistakeholder workshops showed that private sector hatcheries in Bangladesh perceived unfair competition from unregistered hatcheries and brokers as a barrier to successful market penetration . Complete enforcement, by the public sector, of regulatory frameworks, particularly the Fisheries Hatchery Act 2010 and Rule 2011 (Shamsuzzaman et al., 2016) and establishment of a certification scheme for hatchery and fish seed quality are perceived as promising solutions to these problems. Most GIFT hatcheries have a wide clientele coverage. ...
Article
Where CGIAR breeding programs rely on the private sector for the multiplication and distribution of improved cultivars, persistent challenges have dampened their impact on varietal adoption and turnover rates. Part of the problem is that research and practice in CGIAR and among its national breeding program partners tend to treat the private sector as a vehicle for seed delivery, rather than as commercial businesses facing a range of unique constraints and threats. This paper adopts a value chain framework to examine these relationships and pathways for improved varietal adoption/turn-over outcomes in three cases: hybrid maize, farmed fish, and rice. In the first two cases, weak incentives and high risks left seed companies reluctant to invest in the marketing and quality assurance efforts needed to realize near-term impacts at scale from breeding investments. In the third case, seed companies played an insignificant role: grain traders supplied certified seed to smallholders, potentially prioritizing consumers' quality preferences over climate-resilience and stress-tolerance traits for farmers. The findings raise important questions about the role of CGIAR and national breeding programs; specifically, how these programs can effectively support the private sector to deliver impact at greater scale, how consumer preferences are captured in trait prioritization within breeding programs, and what types of incentive mechanisms can be changed within breeding programs to advance a genuine shift towards 'demand-oriented' plant breeding.
... Major components of the Protection and Conservation of Fish Act of 1950 and relevant management for Kaptai Lake Fisheries management[16,17]. ...
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Full-text available
Kaptai Lake (KL), the largest inland watershed in Bangladesh (ca. 700 km2) and one of Southeast Asia’s largest artificial reservoirs, features an abundant variety of indigenous fishery species. Moreover, it provides a plethora of ecological benefits to society. Nevertheless, the KL is suffering from multidimensional natural and anthropogenic stressors that threaten these wetlands’ sustainability. Though the legal framework assures sustainable conservation of fisheries resources, the implementation scenarios of fisheries laws, regulations, and policies in the KL wetland are insufficient. This study aimed at assessing the fisher’s perception of the regulation implementation efficiency of the Protection and Conservation Fish Act of 1950, while analyzing the effectiveness of the legal framework in the context of biodiversity conservation and the management sustainability of KL. By integrating qualitative and quantitative data collected through participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools viz. 225 interviews with fishers, four focus group discussions, and 12 key informant interviews, the investigation was performed in four selected areas in KL. The findings show that fishers routinely disregard laws and restrictions of the Protection and Conservation of Fish Act 1950 due to various socioeconomic and political forces. Although the annual fish harvest rate from KL appears to be increasing, the lake is losing its charismatic biological diversity primarily due to inappropriate and ineffective enforcement of fishing regulations. Many fishers believe that they still follow the act’s significant laws and regulations while being involved in several destructive and prohibited fishing practices. There is a link between community awareness, the scope of the act’s provisions, the effectiveness of its enforcement, and the strength of its execution. One of the leading causes of biodiversity loss in the KL is inadequate and ineffective fishing regulations. Improvement in the enforcement of the fishing act may be the prominent option to ensure better biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of this wetland. This result calls for functional and policy attention to revising the regulations to account for socioeconomic and political elements contributing to environmental degradation. This study also highlights the urgent need for transdisciplinary collaboration initiatives and synchronous cooperation among the agencies in order to effectively implement the fishing laws and contribute to better conservation and sustainability of the Kaptai lake fisheries resources.
... They are deprived of proper economic growth due to increased population, loss of employment and income from only specific period of time, tourism season; this problem often worsens due to climate change induced natural hazards that left the inhabitants with nearly no definite alternative source of income, and the locals also suggested for secondary livelihood with the present forms are essential for the coastal communities. What to do to improve their economy needs to be sought out and socio-economic assessments are required to ensure sustainable development and improvement of the community (Chowdhury et al., 2011;BOBLME, 2015;Shamsuzzaman et al., 2016;Barua et al., 2017;Mohammad et al., 2017;Islam and Shamsuddoha, 2018) St Martin's Island a small island in the northeast of the Bay of Bengal, about 9 km south of the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf peninsular tip and forming the southernmost part of Bangladesh. It is about 8 km west of the northwest coast of Myanmar at the mouth of the river Naf. ...
Article
Saint Martin is an only tropical island of Bangladesh having coral and adjacent rich biodiversity which is built of organic material derived from associate organism of coral ecosystem. Present study was conducted to developed the exclusive zoning plan that based on the specific goal of managing natural resources of St.Martin’s island. . The authors mentioedn that it is important to recognize that the current zoning plan is based on the assumption that conservation and sustainable use of natural resources are the primary objectives. This is found that climate Change is now affecting the biodiversity of ST. Martin island and coral reef diversity hampering due to vulnerability of environmental degradation and climate change. The authors mentioned that, participation and involvement of island inhabitants should required to prime concern for successful implementation of the effective zoning management plan. Desired level of usage can be achieved through interventions, but only in consultation and active cooperation and participation with local communities, with a clear recognition that additional environmental, biological, socioeconomic and sociopolitical data are required for an effective management and conservation of corals and other marine biodiversity of St. Martin’s island through proper implementation of zoning and Marine Protected Area.
... As with the global context, wetlands are an immersible part of society and provide multiple ES in economic, ecological, and cultural contexts since the historical era in most Southeast Asian countries, including Bangladesh [2][3][4][5][6][7]. Bangladesh is one of the top fish-producing countries, having the world's largest wetland and the third largest aquatic biodiversity in Asia [8]. In Bangladesh, the natural wetlands are locally called haor viz. the bowl-shaped or saucer-like natural depression usually resulted in levees of rivers or large floodplain areas joining a sequence of low-lying basins. ...
Article
Full-text available
Tanguar Haor (TH) is considered one of the Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) of Bangladesh and is internationally recognized as RAMSAR wetland (2nd Ramsar site) known to provide multiple ecosystem services to the society. Nevertheless, multidimensional threats and stressors, the capacity to supply ESs, and the biodiversity of the TH significantly degrades and threatens this wetland’s conservation and sustainability. Although the legal framework promises the sustainable conservation of fisheries resources, information on the implementation scenarios of fisheries laws, regulations, and policies in the TH Ramsar are scant. By merging qualitative and quantitative data of primary and secondary sources, this research aimed to analyze the legal framework to check the effectiveness of regulations for non-conflicting fisheries resources and the sustainable conservation of the TH Ramsar. Primary empirical data were collected by employing Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools, i.e., 204 semi-structured questionnaire-based individual interviews with fishers, three focus group discussions, and 14 key informants’ interviews in three fishing villages in the TH. In contrast, secondary data was set by reviewing published literature and related official documents. Results showed that, due to weak enforcement with inadequate surveillance and poor implementation of the legal framework, there was a high non-compliance with fishing laws, rules, and policies. Destructive and prohibited fishing gears, e.g., the use of small mesh fine nylon nets (current jal), purse seine net (ber jal), and the harvesting during ban period-illicit catch were widespread in the study areas. In addition, catching undersized fish, fishing at the restricted areas (sanctuary area), and fishing during spawning seasons occur often. There is a crying need for a comprehensive legal and policy framework to contextualize the local context, ensure the proper implementation of the fishing laws and regulations, increase the managerial inefficiency of enforcing agencies, ensure livelihood support during the fishing ban, and afford good alternative income options are still significant issues for good governance in the Tanguar Haor ECA. Findings might help to identify the gaps and misunderstanding of the existing legal practice while submitting urgent attention to the need for drawing a comprehensive legal and policy framework (contextually modified according to the local context), taking initiatives and acting synchronously for proper implementation, and calling transdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation among the agencies that may ensure the non-conflicting use of the natural resources of the TH that can be also helpful for the better conservation of this Ramsar wetland.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to review the performance of fisheries sector in Bangladesh and the challenges it is facing. Data and information were sourced from the publication of the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and related non-published grey literature. Bangladesh is predominantly an agrarian economy and is naturally endowed with a huge sweet water resources and the world's longest continuous sea beach. With the world's largest flooded wetland, the third largest aquatic biodiversity in Asia behind only to China and India, Bangladesh is considered as one the most suitable region for aquaculture and fisheries in the world. The country has an inland water area of about 45,000 km2 and about 710 km long coastal belt. Given this extensive water resource, it is evident that fisheries play an important role in the economy and the diet of the population. Fish and fish products supply 60 percent of animal protein and around three percents of total export earnings. In recent years, however, the fisheries sector is confronted with challenges posed by numerous natural and anthropogenic causes such as climate change, natural disasters, unbalanced urbanization and industrialization, overfishing and environmental pollution. The combined effect of these factors is posing significant threat to the income and food security of the population and urges for immediate actions by government and policymakers.
Chapter
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aBstRact We reconstructed the marine fisheries catches for Bangladesh in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from 1950-2010. FAO catch statistics are used as the reported landings baseline and adjusted using information from national reports, independent studies, local experts and grey literature. Adjustments are estimates of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) catch in the form of under-reported commercial catch, discarded by-catch and subsistence catches. The reconstructed total catch of Bangladesh, including estimates of discards, unreported commercial catch and subsistence catch, increased from just under 225,000 t·year-1
Article
Full-text available
Hilsa shad Tenualosa ilisha comprises the largest and most valuable single fishery of Bangladesh. This study was conducted to identify suitable habitats for Hilsa juvenile in the northern Bay of Bengal along the coast of Bangladesh using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) based Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, turbidity, current, depth and rainfall. Landsat imagery and 8 thematic layers were analyzed with ENVI and GIS capabilities, and developed as a series of GIS models to identify and prioritize the appropriate habitats for Hilsa juvenile. The study covered 29.484 km2 water body and revealed that 56% (16,388 km2) is the most suitable, 21% (6,054 km2) is moderately suitable and 24% (7,042 km2) is not suitable which was consistent with field verification. The assemblage of marine- brackish-freshwater ecosystems with favourable ecological parameters and rainfall patterns are very much important for supporting juvenile Hilsa in the study area. The results are useful for habitat-specific sanctuary development as the efficient conservation may lead to higher production of adult Hilsa and increase the economic benefit to the fishers.
Book
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Fish play a crucial role in the Bangladeshi diet, providing more than 60% of animal source food, representing a crucial source of micro-nutrients, and possessing an extremely strong cultural attachment. Fish (including shrimp and prawn) is the second most valuable agricultural crop, and its production contributes to the livelihoods and employment of millions. The culture and consumption of fish therefore has important implications for national food and nutrition security, poverty and growth. This review examines the current state of knowledge on the aquaculture sector and fish consumption in Bangladesh, based on extensive analysis of secondary sources (including unpublished data unavailable elsewhere), consultation with various experts and specially conducted surveys.
Article
Fisheries are an important source of animal protein, foreign exchange earnings and employment generation in Bangladesh. This paper examines the current status of fisheries in Bangladesh, for each of the major sub-sectors — inland open waters, inland closed waters (aquaculture), and marine fisheries. Production has been on the increase for all types of fisheries, but the productivity of rivers and estuaries is variable, there are many constraints on expansion, and it is difficult to identify significant achievements from government policy efforts. A host of factors are responsible for the under-utilisation of fishing areas, including resource limitations, poor implementation of fisheries laws, the limited spread of fish farming technology, low financial capacities and ineffective extension practices. These constraints are discussed for the three sub-sectors, and some possibilities for future improvements are suggested.
FAO: A Background Paper on Bangladesh Fisheries
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Alam, M.F. and Dey, M.M., FAO: A Background Paper on Bangladesh Fisheries' (2011) at https://www.google.com/#q=FAO+A+Background+Paper +on+Bangladesh+Fisheries, accessed on 20 October 2015.
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