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Jessore-Cox’s Bazar direct flight likely to carry shrimp fry

The Biman Bangladesh Airlines is likely to introduce a direct flight between Cox’s Bazar and Jessore, as demanded by shrimp hatchery owners.

The Biman board in a meeting recently took the decision in principle and was awaiting the final nod of the civil aviation ministry, sources said.

Shrimp hatchery owners are facing heavy losses as they could not send shrimp fry to the southern region of the country to a great extent due to the unstable political situation.

The Hatchery Owners’ Association have been urging the Biman authorities for long to introduce the direct flight on the route.

“Most of the hatchery owners this year will suffer heavy financial losses as they failed to send their shrimp fry to farms in the south. We are on the verge of collapse,” said Mr Main Uddin Ahmad, president of the Shrimp Hatchery Association of Bangladesh.

If the government does not introduce a direct flight between Cox’s Bazar and Jessore, export of shrimp would drop to a half in the current year, he expressed the fear.

Hatchery owners claimed they were unable to continue production in the peak season, between January and July.

The association also submitted a set of demands to the ministry concerned so that they could overcome the losses they faced due to the political violence.

The demands included further review of the Fish Hatchery Act 2010 and the relevant Rules 2011 by experts including hatchery representatives to bring them at par with the international standards.

They also demanded limiting information on labeling of PL (post larvae) bags and imposition of a ban on brood shrimp collection by trawlers during the period from August to November each year for natural conservation.

The association also demanded review of the Article 9(4) of the Rule 2011 and use of approved drugs in aquaculture.

Shrimp farming and related activities contribute significantly to the national economy of Bangladesh.

There are currently around 59 Bagda shrimp hatcheries along the Cox’s Bazar beach.

The production costs of hatcheries are high, particularly in Cox’s Bazar, ranging from Tk 100-Tk 270 per 1,000 PL.

Salaries of foreign technicians are often linked to production rather than profits. This encourages the use of costly inputs to maximise production. A number of small-scale hatcheries have been established within the shrimp-producing areas in Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat districts with production capacities of around 2-5 million PL per year.

The sector is also constrained by a lack of quality control and poor management practices.

With the capacity of producing about 15.0 billion fries a year, the country’s 58 shrimp hatcheries annually produce 8.0-10.0 billion fries, needed for shrimp cultivation, the second biggest export-earner after garments.

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Source: Financial Express

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