Fact Sheet of EcoFish Project: Enhanced Coastal Fisheries in Bangladesh Project
- Hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) is the national fish of Bangladesh. It is the most popular fish within the countries of the Bay of Bengal region due to its taste, flavor and look. Moreover, it contains essential micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. During 2002-03, the hilsa production went down to below 0.2 million tons that led the Gov. to formulate the Hilsa Fishery Management Action Plan (HFMAP). Since the implementation of HFMAP, hilsa production showed an increasing trend @5%/year till 2015. To improve its annual incremental production further, Department of Fisheries and WorldFish jointly started implementation of “Enhanced Coastal Fisheries in Bangladesh (ECOFISH-Bangladesh)”, a USAID funded five-year initiative (2014-2019). The overall objective of the project is- “Improved resilience of the Meghna River ecosystem and communities reliant on coastal fisheries”. Recently, over a million of Rohingya refugee influx from Myanmar to Cox’s Bazar region, especially in Teknaf and Ukhiya areas, the Zone of Resilience (ZOR), that has created enormous impacts on all natural resources including fisheries biodiversity. This has led to the sufferings of a vast number of the Naf River and coastal host fishing communities. USAID’s ECOFISH has started a broad-based assessment of the ecology and biodiversity of coastal and marine waters to enhance conservation as well as livelihood improvement of the affected host fishing communities through better utilization of aquatic resources in the ZOR, Cox’s Bazar.