|Openwater Fisheries of Bangladesh
edited by Chu-fa Tsai and M. Youssouf Ali
ISBN 984 05 1368 X 1997 226pp 240x175mm HB Tk.360.00 US$23.00
Open water fisheries are major aquatic common property resources in Bangladesh covering over four million hectares. Around ten percent of the population of 120 million depend for their livelihoods on fisheries. Fish is the main source of animal protein, particularly for the poor. The wetlands of Bangladesh are an interplay of social, environmental, resource management and developmental concerns. There are conflicting demands on the wetlands. The demand for agricultural production, particularly cereals, encourages attempts to dry out the wetlands with a reduction in the open water areas and its fisheries resources. Bangladesh possesses a wide range of fishes, prawns and turtles inhabiting in its extensive inland open waters. The fish populations and stocks were under threat of depletion due to indiscriminate and uncontrolled harvesting. This situation has further been complicated by the physical loss shrinkage and modification of aquatic habitats for fishes, prawns, turtles and other aquatic organisms.
There is very little structured literature about this socially, economically, nutritionally and environmentally important living resource. Further, the limited existing literature is scattered mostly inaccessible project reports. Thus an urgent need has been felt to pull together the best information in an accessible way. In fourteen chapters, this book addresses the issues of the ecosystem and resources, history, sociology, economics and marketing, fish biology and biodiversity, environment, technology and policy concerns.
M. Youssouf Ali is Bangladesh’s leading fisheries biologist, policy planner and advocate for protecting the open water fishery resources. He has played a key role as a researcher, technocrat and environmental activist for the last 50 years. He graduated from the University of Calcutta with Honours in Zoology and joined the Deptt. of Fisheries, Govt. of Bengal, in 1945. Later, he obtained a M. Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Institute of Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Canada. He held important positions in the Government ending his service career as Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock of the Government of Bangladesh. He was team leader of two major exercises - Monitoring of the Experiment on the New and Improved Management of Fisheries in Bangladesh and Monitoring of Fish Production in floodplains under the Third Fisheries Project. Besides many publications to his credit, Dr. Ali also authored the companion volume, Fish, Water and People (UPL, 1997).
Chu-fa Tsai is an eminent Fisheries Biologist and a Professor of Maryland University, USA. A leading Fishery Biologist, Dr. Tsai has been involved for over two decades in many studies and projects related to open water fisheries of Bangladesh. Dr. Tsai along with Dr. Ali, supported by BCAS experts, developed the methodology of comprehensive monitoring of the open water fisheries consisting of biological, socio-economic and environmental issues. This has resulted in one of largest data bases on open water fisheries. Recently he had been a visiting professor at the Academia Sinica in the Republic of Taiwan working on marine biology and global environmental issues. Dr. Tsai has worked in Bangladesh as Fisheries Consultant to the Department of Fisheries and Fisheries Research Institute being supported by the World Bank, USAID, FAO etc.