Use of pesticide, slashing of water bodies blamed
Md Joynal Abedin Khan: The excessive use of pesticide in farmlands, exodus of industrial wastage on water and catching fish by ban nets as well as slashing of water bodies and climate change are pushing the threat to species of native fish on extinction in the country, experts said.
About 300 species of fresh water indigenous fish are being extinct day by day and 118 also on the verge of extinction now, they said.
However, local fish also declined because of foreign fish cultivation, opined Professor Mostafa Ali Reza Hossain, Director of Fisheries Museum in Mymensingh.
The country’s endangered fishes are Mani, Bao Baim, Gutum, Quicha, Bamos, Dari, Kaksa, Hiralu, Tila Bou Fish, Betangi, Beti or Putul Fish, Kala Bata, Ghor Poia, Ghora Mach, Elanga, Kachua Puty, Bowl, Chital, Gajar, Tengra, Rita, Gangina or Chaka fish, Bot Shing, Ghaura, Sal Bayam, Magur, Pabda, Chapila, Taki, Chital, Rita, Pangash, Boal, Khailsar, Baila, Baim, Meni or Chedri.
Also in crisis are Bao Baim, Tapila, Pouya, Piyasi, Jarua or Utti, Chep Chela, Gofi Chela, Bata Fish, Naru Fish or Gonya, Kachki, Foly, Shel Baila, Bele, Eyer, Boal, Teli Mach, Bamos fish, Kai, Dhedo and Sar Pooti, Bunchuka, Chopra, Dairka, Taki and datua.
According to International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), many species of known indigenous fishes including Baghair, Pipla Shoal, Mahashoal, Nandila fish, Chanda, Bhangabata, Kharki fish, Black Pabda, Chenua fish etc were abolished in the markets during last 25 years.
In 2020, IUCN survey prepared a list the endangered species animal of Bangladesh, showed 54 species of fish were identified as endangered. In 2015, another survey showed that 64 more species of fish abolished while 100 domestic fishes were officially declared extinct.
An inhabitant of Kauriaparha village situated on the bank of the Meghna river, Abdul Halim, said “Many people could earn their living through fishing in the past, but now they cannot do any longer.”
Another inhabitant of the same village, Rubel Hossain said, “I used to live fishing in this river.
This river does not have the quantity of fish we need for eating, let alone for livelihood.”
Professor Kaniz Fatema of Fisheries Department of Dhaka University said, “There have few reasons behind missing or decreasing fish species. Among these, she first blamed the decline of the reservoirs. In both cities and villages, the number of all types of water bodies, including rivers, canals is decreasing day by day.”
Besides increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides in the land, this falls into the water bodies in the rain. As a result, fish reproductive rate has been severely declined. Factory wastes are also dumped in nearby water bodies, causing fish to die, she added.
Dr Altaf Hossain, a retired professor of Zoology Department of Rajshahi University (RU), said the sharp declining of spawning ground of fishes in river facing an endangered condition due to withdrawal of its water from the upstream point.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Faculty at the Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University in Dhaka, Kazi Ahsan Habib said that intensive fish-farming is part of a bigger problem in Bangladesh.
“Uncontrolled and extensive use of non-organic nutrients is not just limited to aquaculture. Our total industrialised agriculture is being run on such practices.” Habib said that the main problem was that “in many cases, we neglect to sustainably manage inland capture fisheries”.
S M Rezaul Karim MP, Minister for Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock said the Parliament that out of 260 freshwater fish species of the country, 64 are under threat. Of them, 30 are highly endangered.
Dr Yahya Mahmud, Director General of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI), Mymensingh, said “Emphasis has been given on research activities to reproduce endangered species of local fish. That is why preservation of genes and invention of breeding techniques and methods of commercial cultivation have been possible,”
“Out of 260 species of fish, 64 are almost extinct, which means that almost 25 percent fish spices are under danger” he added.
Selina Yesmin, senior scientific officer at the BFRI, said that they have been researching commercial farming of local species, which are on the verge of extinction from rivers and beels.
Narsinghdi District Fisheries Officer Md Abul Farah said “Fishes lose reproduction capacity due to excessive use of fertilisers and insecticides in the crop fields. Besides this, fish eggs and spawns are ruined in the polluted water.”
“Fish eggs and spawns are ruined due to excessive use of fertilser and insecticides in the crop field and industrial wastages flowing through the water,” he said.