In Bangladesh, aquatic foods play a central role in dietary patterns, livelihoods and culture. Fish is by far the most commonly consumed animal-source food in the country, whose population consumes an average of 19.71 kg/person/year. It is an important diet staple, providing a rich source of micronutrients and accounting for 60 percent of animal protein intake.

Both capture fisheries and aquaculture play significant roles in fish production and consumption in Bangladesh. Aquaculture currently produces more than 2 million metric tons per year, while small-scale fisheries production is around 1.54 million metric tons.

There is great potential to substantially boost production with innovations such as community-based fisheries management, sustainable feeds and low carbon production systems.

In 2014-15, 83,524 metric tons of aquatic foods were exported, more than half of which were shrimp. Around 18.2 million people are employed in fisheries and aquaculture.

FISH worked with the Government of Bangladesh and development partners to create a more productive fisheries and aquaculture sector that contributes to diversified and resilient rural livelihoods and promotes food and nutrition security.

New genetic improvement programs for three carp species (rohu, catla, silver carp) were established in Bangladesh. New generations of rohu (Labeo rohita), catla carp (Catla catla) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) were produced, with the release of the improved rohu strain initiated in 2021. Trials indicate 30 percent faster growth to farmers and a foundation for major contributions to carp supplies in Bangladesh in 2022 and beyond.

The nutritious pond conceptis an innovation that exploits the inherent capacity of the pond ecosystem to mineralize wastes, nourish the pond food web and produce natural fish feeds. The innovation was shown to have advantages over traditional feeding for intensification of pond aquaculture due to reduced feeding costs, ability to use local ingredients, recycling of wastes and increasing fish production in a healthy pond environment. The system was widely and successfully tested in Bangladesh with public and private partners.