Fish is a staple food and key source of nutrition and income for the people of Bangladesh, whose population will reach more than 185 million by 2030.
This growing demand for fish will place unique stresses on Bangladesh’s ‘fish food system’, which covers three distinct sources – inland fisheries, aquaculture and marine capture fisheries.
To develop future scenarios of the country’s fish food system, a two-day workshop (31 January – 1 February 2015) organized by the Department of Fisheries Bangladesh and WorldFish brought together experts across diverse fields including fisheries, aquaculture, nutrition, gender and trade.
“The Future of Fish in Bangladesh” workshop explored how the supply, demand and trade of fish may change over the next 10 to 20 years based on observed trends and drivers of change, such as sea level rise and population growth.
The scenarios developed by participants will contribute to the analysis of future supply and demand for fish products, and the role of fish in food and nutrition security in Bangladesh.
This analysis will be undertaken through two key WorldFish projects that facilitated the event.
Part of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, the ‘Aquaculture and the poor: improving fish production, consumption and nutrition linkages’ project aims to secure the supplies of, and access to, farmed fish for vulnerable consumers – particularly women and children.
Funded by GIZ, the project will generate gendered fish consumption patterns and communicate to key stakeholders the technological, institutional and policy innovations that support the sustainable and equitable development of fish value chains.
The USAID-funded Enhanced Costal Fisheries (ECOFISHBD) project, part of the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems, will improve the resilience and governance of estuarine ecosystems and the livelihoods of communities that depend on Hilsa fisheries – the largest single species contributor to fisheries production in Bangladesh.
Increasing the availability and affordability of animal source foods, including fish, for poor consumers in the developing world is a core focus the Livestock and Fish program. This is particularly important for the people of Bangladesh, of whom more than 30% live below the poverty line.