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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 15  |  Issue: 12  |  Page No.: 551 - 567

Present Status and Approaches for the Sustainable Development of Community Based Fish Culture in Seasonal Floodplains of Bangladesh

M.F. Rahman, K.C.A. Jalal, Nasrin Jahan, B.Y. Kamaruzzaman, R. Ara and A. Arshad    

Abstract: Coordination among the different stakeholders at policy planning, implementation and target beneficiary level, particularly among the agencies responsible for development and management of water resources, agriculture and fisheries, is essential for overall sustainable development. Stocking of larger fingerlings at suitable stocking densities of endemic (rohu, catla, mrigal) and exotic (silver carp, bighead carp, common carp/mirror carp) species should be stocked at varying proportion. Floodplain fish production depends only on the natural fertility of the water bodies. Technological interventions should include the installation of low cost bamboo fencing at water inlet and outlet points and setting of ring culverts for maintaining suitable levels of water for fish culture without hampering the production of rice and other crops in the intervention areas, selective stocking with native and exotic carps, restricted fishing for certain period of time and guarding. It is expected to exert positive influences in enhancing the standing crop and biodiversity of non-stocked species of fishes in the intervention seasonal floodplain. Entry of fish larvae, hatchlings and young fry of wild non-stocked fishes into the seasonal floodplains because of large fence spacing (approximately 1.0 cm), could restrict fishing for certain period, undisturbed habitat and guarding could contribute to higher productivity and enhancement of fish biodiversity in the seasonal floodplains. Proper motivation and effective cooperation of the beneficiaries are extremely important to culture fish in the seasonal floodplains under community based management system. Institutional support and constant vigilance from the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and local administrations are indispensable to ensure the sustainability of fish culture initiatives in the seasonal floodplains. Active participation and involvement of the local community people in all stages of fish culture operation beginning from selection of floodplains, formation of floodplain management committee, planning of fish culture activities, exercise of technical intervention, selective stocking with large fingerlings, guarding, monitoring and supervision, adopting harvesting strategies, marketing and distribution of benefits are extremely essential to ensure sustainability of the program. Mutual trust, sense of respect and good working relationship among the committee members are the basic social elements required for the success of community based fish culture initiatives.

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