Tilapia culture in trinidad and tobago: yet another update



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INTRODUCTION

Background


Bangladesh has the sub-tropical monsoon climate with temperature range ranging from 11 to 340C. Bangladesh is composed of mainly the great combined delta and flood plains criss-crossed by numerous rivers and their tributaries. There are over 250 large rivers in the country. The three major rivers, the Padma, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna, drain a catchment extending over Bhutan, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and China. The total area of these river basins is about 1.5 million sq km of which 8% is in Bangladesh. Bangladesh alone has about 4 million hectares of inland open water area and 0.3 million hectares of inland closed waterbed (Banglapedia, 2003). The inland closed water bodies especially the ponds and shrimp-farms are almost on peak of utilization and losing their production potentials day-by-day. But most of the inland open water bodies including extensive floodplains are still left for capturing the natural stocks and un-utilized. Increasing pressure of population over the natural resources, siltation, and water pollution by industries and agriculture are causing decline in the natural fish stock critically while the demand is increasing rapidly. Wise use of the potential vast flowing water by promoting culture fish in cages could assist in fulfilling the demand of national protein intake as in other Asian countries. After the liberation of the country a number of NGOs (e.g. CARE-Bangladesh and others) along with the relevant government department tried for decades but unfortunately due to some factors the technology didn’t sustain in the country. However, Department of fisheries (DoF) collaborating with other governments and NGOs continue to promote cage culture. A remarkable breakthrough was achieved when some DoF field level officials had the opportunity to receive training from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) based near Bangkok, where the technology mono-sex seed production was developed. One of the authors of this paper serving for the DoF being based in Fisheries Training Institute was able to translate the knowledge and skill gained from the high quality training into practice in Bangladesh. Cage culture in rivers has been introduced in Bangladesh successfully to support poor communities residing in two districts; Chandpur and Laxmipur. Six large-scale mono-sex hatcheries have been established so far working with the private sector. The technology has been disseminated to other parts of the country. Gradually, a number of organizations along with the government and various social sects have also been involved. This has efforts has been a model as it brought in a huge direct and indirect benefits to the communities in a number of ways, such as, by producing high quality protein near the doors, creating employment opportunity, increasing family income and supporting economic activities through linkages with private sector. This paper highlights the approaches used hoping that it could be a model for others in Bangladesh as well as rest of the world.



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