Development of a blue economy is firmly embedded in the development plans of Bangladesh. Advances in freshwater aquaculture have promoted Bangladesh to the fifth largest fish producer in the world. However, the marine resource base of Bangladesh, which is now even greater following the recent settling of disputes regarding maritime boundaries with neighbouring countries, lends itself to the development of marine aquaculture – known as mariculture. Several potential areas and opportunities for mariculture development have been identified for implementation under the concept of blue economy development in Bangladesh. We identify the most promising fish species as the hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha), seabass (Lates calcarifer) and the grey mullet (Mugil cephalus); shrimp species as black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), brown shrimp (Metapenaeus Monoceros), Indian white shrimp (Penaeus indicus) and the mud crab (Scylla serata). Further, some non-traditional marine species like seaweed, micro algae, shellfish (mussel, oyster) and the sea cucumber offer considerable potential. However, there remain major challenges and constraints that need to be addressed in order for mariculture to further develop and contribute to a growing blue economy in Bangladesh. Most notably, ministries, departments and research institutions, along with interested private entrepreneurs, must collaborate to formulate strategies for effective development and implementation, so that mariculture can contribute to food security and economic development through export opportunities.
- blue economy development