Value chain impact of the increased hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) harvest in Bangladesh

Hilsa shad is the largest single fish species, contributing 12% of the total fish production in Bangladesh. Since the rapid decline of its harvest in early 2000, the government of Bangladesh took various initiatives to accelerate the hilsa production and introduced the hilsa fisheries management action plan in 2005. Under WorldFish led enhanced coastal fisheries project, implemented in partnership with the Department of Fisheries, the hilsa fishery reversed and experienced record harvest in 2016. Therefore, this study was undertaken to explore the contributions and benefits of this increased hilsa shad production among value chain actors. The results revealed that increased catches have significant impacts on the volumes of hilsa that were handled by the value chain actors, which depressed market price along the value chain. However, the increased amounts of hilsa harvested compensated for the reduced price and led to increased profits, increased household incomes of the value chain actors, and enhanced fish consumption at the household levels. The increased hilsa catch also had positive and significant impacts on credit repayment. Therefore, the incentive-based co-management system deserves continuation to improve the livelihood of the poor hilsa fishers, to increase the income ofthe value chain actors and to ensure a sustainable hilsa fishery for Bangladesh.