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Shrimp Cultivation In Coastal Areas. A Case Study On Bangladesh

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Shrimp Cultivation in Coastal Areas


Nasiha Musarrat

Submitted to:

Dr. Syed Naimul Wadood

Assistant Professor

Department of Economics

North South University

Eco 260

Fall 2007

Dated: December 17, 2007


The paper I am beginning to write is a partial requirement of the Environmental Economics Course (Coded Eco 260) under the guidance of my faculty, Dr. Naimul Wadood. I am writing this paper to enlighten people about not believing everything negative written in the media and claimed by the NGO's regarding the environmental and socio-economic effect of the shrimp industry. After reading my paper I hope I am able to convince my readers to not to fall for the common misconceptions which plagues our shrimp industry today.


Nasiha Musarrat

ID# 051-407-030

School Of Business

North South University

Table of Contents Pg

1. Introduction

1.1 Introductory note ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4

1.2 Background and Motivation------------------------------------------------------------ 5

1.3 Research Question----------------------------------------------------------------------- 5

1.4 Scope of Study--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5

1.5 Method of Study------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6

2. Theoretical Study------------------------------------------------------ 7

3. Current Situation in Bangladesh----------------------------------- 11

4. Analysis of the Current Situation in Bangladesh---------------- 14

5. Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Recommendation------------------------------------------------------------------------ 17

5.2 Future Direction------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19

5.3 Conclusion-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19

1. Introduction

1.1 Introductory Note

Shrimp export and cultivation in Bangladesh has undergone rapid expansion over the last two decades. Shrimp is a particularly valuable export crop generating substantial revenues and foreign exchange, earning in excess of $360 million annually and accounting for 4.9 percent of exports in 2004. After the garment industry, shrimp production ranks second in Bangladesh in terms of the sector's ability to earn foreign exchange. Not only does this crop earn valuable foreign exchange, but the sector also employs significant numbers of rural workers and provides a livelihood for households throughout much of Bangladesh. Certain studies estimate that as many as 1.2 million people may be directly involved in shrimp production with an additional 4.8 million household members supported by the industry.

Shrimp farming has been the subject of heated debate and scrutiny as a result of the negative environmental and social impacts that have been documented around the world. One of the reasons why this particular type of farming has come under close scrutiny on a global scale is that whilst open (capture) fisheries are generally deemed to be self-producing and self-sustaining, closed (culture) fisheries need direct use of inputs and human care, involve property rights and, whilst being renewable, generate a wide range of externalities that makes sustainable development a critically important issue.

A number of significant external costs have been documented in Bangladesh that are associated with significant changes in land-use patterns and access rights which affect traditional agriculture activities and practices. Since shrimp cultivation occurs in a closed or semi-closed system, there is potential for waterlogging and increased salinity levels to alter drainage patterns and the quality of the soil. Declining soil quality and the obstruction of natural drainage has been blamed for the spread of standing water-borne disease and a marked decline in the diversity of agriculture. Furthermore, the use of fine seine nets to sieve for shrimp larvae for cultivation has been associated with the decline of other fish species that were naturally occurring in the river deltas of Khulna and Chittagong. Finally, the loss of vegetative cover has also been attributed to increased salinization and salt water intrusion.

1.2 Background and Motivation

Shrimp culture plays a central part in the fisheries sub-sector in Bangladesh. It has created a substantial employment on shrimp farms as well as increase in activities such as trade / commerce, processing and marketing. Shrimp cultivation experienced a spectacular boost from next to nothing in the early 1970s to become a major export earning industry by the mid 1980s.

Shrimp has replaced our raw jute as the dominant export item in the primary goods category, and now shrimp export contributes nearly half of our primary, export items. Today, Bangladesh is the 7th largest exporter of shrimp to the combined Japan & US markets. It earns US 200 million on an average every year from the export of shrimp sector. In spite of it so called achievements, the shrimp sector has been under fire from various interest groups.

It is claimed



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