The Underlying Causes of Fish Habitat Destruction in Hakaluki Haor, Bangladesh
Hakaluki haor is an important mother fisheries of Bangladesh and around 200,000 people directly depends on it for livelihood because the haor provide 14000 MT of fish per year. Based on fieldwork, this study identified the underlying causes of fish habitat destruction in hakaluki haor and its impact on haor ecosystem. To collect empirical data, a survey was conducted among different stake holders of Hakaluki haor region such as fisherman, boat man, fish trader, social leader, local people and a number of qualitative tools were adopted such as interview and group discussion. The respondents identified the major causes of fish habitat destruction such as yearly flashflood (water quality reduction due to rotten paddy), establishment of brick kilns, irrigation infrastructure including floods control dams, conversion and drainage of haor wetlands for agriculture and aquaculture, overfishing even in fish sanctuary, commercial development and siltation. Fish habitat destruction is creating negative impacts on the annual production of fish and socio economic condition of the dependent community. This also leading the endangered species to extinction. Based on literature review, observations, interview with relevant stakeholders, the study gives some recommendations to mitigate destruction of habitat such as protect the haor from yearly flash flood, making eco-friendly dam and fish pass to ensure safe migration, better human settlement, limit the quantity of fertilizer and pesticides for agricultural land to maintain water quality, establish effluent treatment plant in industries and educating the community.