To raise fish production, experts have called for more sea fishing and emphasised formulating an effective action plan to this end.
"Although there is a lot of potential, we are unable to do deep-sea fishing. We have to overcome our limitations in this case," said Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury.
"Emphasis should be laid on formulating a proper action plan to do ocean fishing. This will increase production and export opportunities," he said at a fisheries stakeholder workshop in the Planning Commission's National Economic Council (NEC) conference room on Sunday.
Speaking at the workshop as chief guest, Planning Division Secretary Pradip Ranjan Chakraborty, said "The action plan should be annual and projects must be developed accordingly."
Bangladesh ranks 3rd in inland fish production, 5th in aquaculture, and 11th in marine fish production.
"If there is any deficit in the action plan, it should be given importance. We must urgently focus on that," said Mamun-Al-Rashid, a member of the Physical Infrastructure Division of the Planning Commission, presiding over the workshop.
Professor Sadiqul Islam called for greater emphasis on deep-sea fishing and said, "There is high demand for our fish outside the country and we should pay more attention to exports."
He said the big problem with inland fisheries is poor quality feed. Subsidies should be given if needed to improve the quality.
Kh Mahbubul Haque, director general of the fisheries department, said, "There is no point to developing industries lacking resources. The government is giving the utmost importance to fish in general, and marine fisheries in particular as well."
Dr Yahia Mahmud, director general at the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI), said, "Despite plans to increase fish production, farmers are not being provided with the necessary assistance. Currently the price of fish feed is very high and if you can't provide farmers with feed at a lower price, disaster is imminent."
Dr Sirajul Islam, a fisheries expert and treasurer at the Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, presented a keynote paper at the event.