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.

We have been working with the Government of Bangladesh and development partners since 1989 to create a more productive fisheries and aquaculture sector that contributes to diversified and resilient rural livelihoods and promotes food and nutrition security.

Current Priorities / Initiatives

  • Research fish-rice systems
  • Manage genetic improvement program for rohu carp, catla, silver carp and mola
  • Research disease diagnostic and control measures for tilapia and shrimp
  • Develop and test enhanced community-based fishery management approaches

Anticipated Impacts (by 2022)

  • 1.80M producer households adopt improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health and aquaculture and fisheries management practices
  • 1.17M people, of which at least 50 percent are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains
  • 3.0M Bangladeshis have improved lives due to increased fisheries and aquaculture production, improved incomes and better nutrition
  • 0.90M people, of which 50 percent are women, are without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12
  • 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 10 percent increase in water and nutrient use efficiency in 1.65 million metric tons of fish per annum
  • 1.96M more women of reproductive age are consuming an adequate number of food groups
  • 1.07M hectares of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of small-scale fisheries resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds