Effect of Shrimp Culture on Ecology in
the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh

(MNFEL 330)

March 24, 2003

Submitted by:

Syed Mahmood Anwar

Submitted to:

Gunilla A. Olsson, Dept. Biology, NTNU
Kerstin Potthoff, Dept. Geography, NTNU



Shrimp is a major contributor in the national economv oí Bangladesh since mid 1980s. It
gi·es millions oí emplovment and earns more than USD 250 million annuallv. 1housand oí
acres oí lands in the coastal region ha·e been brought under shrimp culti·ation. as the
natural resources and en·ironment are ía·orable íor culti·ation oí shrimp. Unplanned and
haphazard expansion oí shrimp culture has impact on coastal ecosvstem. 1his paper has a
aim to íocus on how the shrimp culture in Bangladesh is aííecting the soil and agriculture
production: the mangro·es: and the coastal biodi·ersitv. Shrimp production in Bangladesh is
largelv extensi·e and semi-intensi·e with low capital inputs. Shrimp írv is mostlv collected
írom the wild stock and in the process other marine species are caught and destroved.
(apturing oí agricultural lands and cattle grazing íields íor the purpose oí shrimp culti·ation
results signiíicant decrease in crop production in the region with 21° decrease in the
number oí li·estock in the last twentv vears. (on·erting coastal wetlands into shrimp ponds
reducing the natural breeding places íor íish and other aquatic li·es. Most important
ecological impact might be salinitv increase. Due to salinitv increase because oí improper
management oí shrimp culti·ation. the whole biodi·ersitv oí the coastal region is now under
threat. It is expected that some recommendations. which are put íorth in this studv can be
helpíul íor íurther researches íor sustainable growth oí shrimp culture.


Lffect of Shrimp Culture on Lcology in the
Coastal Areas of Bangladesh

1able of Contents


1.1 Aim and objecti·es
1.2 Methodologv
1.3 Scope and Limitation


2.1 General (haracteristics oí (oastal Region
2.2 Socio-economic (haracteristics
2.3 Pre·ious De·elopment Project ha·ing Lcological (hange
2.4 Sundarban Mangro·e lorests and its llora and launa


3.1 \hat is Shrimp
3.2 Nature and Procedure oí Shrimp (ulti·ation








(ulti·ation oí shrimps in a controlled and enclosed water bodv is described as Shrimp
(ulture or in general the culti·ation oí shrimp`. Both saline and íresh water can be used íor
the culti·ation oí shrimps. It is a íorm oí aquaculture. Shrimps are swimming crustaceans
that inhabit the warm marine waters oí the tropics and subtropics. Smaller kinds oí shrimps
are known as prawns. 1here are se·eral tvpes oí shrimps but in this studv. shrimp` will
represent onlv Pevaev. Movoaov`. Production oí íarmed shrimp has grown at the phenomenal
rate oí 20 to 30 per cent per vear in the last two decades. 1he leading shrimp producers are
in the Asia-Paciíic region while the major markets are in Japan. the USA and Lurope
Prima·era. 1995,.

Shrimp became a major export earning industrv bv the mid 1980s. (urrentlv Bangladesh
produces 2.5 per cent oí the global production oí shrimp. 1odav Bangladesh is the ¯
exporter oí shrimps to the Japan and USA market. 1here are 600 thousand people emploved
in the shrimp sector generating USD 301 million annuallv GOB. 2002,. Shrimp culture
plavs a central part in the íisheries sub-sector in Bangladesh. Initiallv. shrimp íarming was
introduced in the coastal areas. particularlv in Khulna and (ox`s Bazar. 3¯5000 acres oí land
in the coastal region ha·e been brought under saline water shrimp culti·ation. Greater
Khulna district contributes about halí oí the total shrimp íarming areas 1he Independent.

Shrimp íarming has ad·erse eííect both on the en·ironment and societv. 1he coastal
communities oí Bangladesh has been suííering írom the worst excess oí shrimp íarming in
that region. íew oí the proíits directlv beneíit them. 1hev ha·e to deal with the deepening
social impacts because oí shrimp íarming. 1he major socio-economic eííects due to shrimp
íarming are - changes in agricultural patterns. changes in li·elihood pattern. displacement oí
íamilv and social structure. impact on social culture. increase social conílict. increase
migration. degrading the health and education particularlv oí school going children etc
\istrand. 2002,. Besides these. thev also ha·e to íace the degrading en·ironment. 1he
en·ironmental problems associated with shrimp íarming ha·e been widelv reported through
out the period oí 1990s. 1he extensi·e íarming svstems requiring large land areas ha·e
contributed most to encroachment oí agriculture land and mangro·e clearance with
increased intrusion oí salinitv. degradation oí land and de-stabilization oí coastal ecosvstems.
1he south coastal regions oí Bangladesh ha·e been suííering írom en·ironmental
degradation including: increased salinitv oí soil. canals and ponds within dams: reduction in
grazing land and a consequent reduction oí li·estock: destruction oí mangro·e íorest.
ad·erse aííects on the potential crop-mix. cropping intensitv. crop calendar and o·erall
cropping pattern in the shrimp growing areas Bhattacharva. et at 1999,. 1he unregulated
shrimp culture has impact on bio-di·ersitv. mangro·e íorest. soil and marine species Deb.

Present situation oí shrimp culture is that it is growing íast. 1his means that more coastal
wetlands. crop íields and mangro·e íorests are transíormed into shrimp ponds. 1he problem
during the shrimp culti·ating is that ecological aspects mav not be considered.

Coastal region
J.J Aim and Objectives

General aim oí the studv is to íocus on the eííects oí shrimp culture on the coastal
ecosvstem. Diííerent reports and other sources coníirmed that the unplanned expansion oí
the shrimp culture has ad·erse impact in three major areas: reducing agriculture production.
destroving coastal bio-di·ersitv and particularlv. capturing the ·aluable mangro·e íorest.
1hereíore. the speciíic objecti·es are to:

a. lind out the existing ecologv oí the coastal region
b. Lxamine the eííects oí shrimp culture on the soil and íood crop production.
c. Analvze the eííects oí intensi·e practice oí shrimp on the coastal bio-di·ersitv.
d. Analvze the eííects on mangro·e íorest.

J.2 Methodology

Study area selection:
1he two main centers oí shrimp
production are located Khulna´
Satkhira´ Bagerhat districts in
the Southwest. and (hittagong
and (ox`s bazaar districts in the
Southeast. Almost all hatcheries
are located in (ox`s bazaar.
Rahman 1998, highlights that
about 80 per cent area oí
Khulna. Bagerhat. and Satkhira
are under shrimp culture in
Bangladesh and noticed a three
íold increase in the last decade.
It now co·ers about 145
thousand hectares oí land
sprawled o·er 9000 íarms. 18
per cent oí total íarms oí the

In Bangladesh. Shrimp
culti·ation has been spreading in
the coastal regions. lourteen
southern administrati·e districts
are sharing the whole shrimp
culti·ation co·erage íig 1,. lor
this studv whole coastal region
and its eco-svstem is considered
as the studv area.

Data source and type:
1his studv is based on secondarv sources oí data. Among the tools. reports. newspapers.
other published documents and internet or websites are considered as the sources.

Figure 1: Map pf Bangladesh showing the coastal region or
the shrimp cultivation area.
Data analysis:
All the collected data has been manuallv interpreted as descripti·e wav and with the help oí
a·ailable pictures. 1he discussion about the objecti·es has been made to complete the studv
which is íinallv produced this report.

J.3 Scope and Limitations

1his studv had a scope to íocus on the eííect oí unplanned and haphazard shrimp
culti·ation in the coastal region. More speciíicallv there was scope to highlight the economic
importance oí the shrimp culture and the wav how the coastal eco-svstem i.e. the soil.
species. mangro·es are being aííected it. lowe·er. as the studv area is not reachable within
the short period. so primarv obser·ation sur·ev could not possible. Apart írom this. this
studv tried to present the current a·ailable íacts.


Lcological di·ersiíication and landscape oí the coastal region is characterized bv Sundarban
mangro·e íorest and its ecosvstem: coastal wetlands lig 2,: sub-tropical íood crop
culti·ation svstems: grazing íields: wild marine and íresh water íishes and other aquatic li·es:
coastal ·egetation and ílora and íauna. In simpliíied wav oí understanding. ecologv means
the relationship between organisms and their en·ironment 1he American leritage. 2000,.

2.J General Characteristiscs of Coastal Region
1he major portion oí the land in this region is low lving. barelv one metre abo·e mean sea
le·el. and below high tide le·el. As such. all the low lands are inundated during high tide.
1he onlv areas íree írom tidal
inundation are artiíiciallv raised
lands. such as homesteads.
orchards. roads etc. 1he íresh
water is brought down through the
·arious branches oí the Ganges
delta. while the salinitv is caused bv
tidal incursion.
1he Sundarban íorest discards
about 3.5 million tons oí detritus
per vear. 1his is carried to the
íarthest corners oí the land bv the
tides. and decomposing in the
water. transíorms into highlv
nutritious organic íood íor all
tvpes oí aquatic liíe and when
deposited along with the silt on the
land. becomes natural subsidence
oí the loose delta soil. which is
common to all similar areas
throughout the world.

0 1.5 r||es
Coastal wetlands



Figure 2: LANDSAT satellite infrared image showing the
part of Sundarbans and general coastal area with
vegetation and wetlands.
2.2 Socio-economic Characteristics
In comparison with other administrati·e Di·isions oí the countrv Dhaka. Rajshahi.
(hittagong,. the indicators íor malnutrition. íood insecuritv. low birth weight and stunting
are higher in the south-western coastal region. Major occupation is shrimp culti·ation and
agriculture. Ali 2000, íurther notes that about íour hundred thousands oí people are
presentlv engaged in írv collection. most oí them írom earlier agriculture labor beíore
shrimp íarming.

2.3 Previous Development Project having Lcological Change
As a low lving tidal coastal region. the area was not ía·orable íor producing íood or other
crop till ¯0s. In 1960s. the theorv oí Green Re·olution was propounded. In the íace oí
steadilv increasing population and the shortage oí suííicient íood grains to íeed them. the
whole world was mobilized under the slogan "Grow More lood." 1his goal was sought to
be achie·ed bv means oí increase oí land under culti·ation. irrigation. and pro·ision oí
better inputs such as high qualitv seeds. chemical íertilizers and pesticides. 1he (oastal
Lmbankment Project was implemented in this region in the 1960's with the assistance oí
USAID. 1he declared aims oí the project was to protect the homes and crops oí the homes
and crops oí the people írom tidal incursions and tidal surges. In order to transíorm the tidal
ílood plains into perennial agricultural lands. 4000 km oí high embankments were built to
enclose the land in 92 polders. with ¯80 sluices to drain oíí the surplus rain water. during the
period írom 1960-196¯. At íirst. during the 19¯0's. the result oí the project was beneíicial.
1he agricultural production in this region was enhanced considerablv.

2.4 Sundarbans Mangrove Iorests and Its Ilora and Iauna

1he mangro·e íorest. the
Sundarbans in the southwest oí
Bangladesh. is unique because oí its
historv. size. producti·itv and
signiíicance in balancing the local
ecosvstem. 1he moist tropical seral
íorest lig 3, is the largest
mangro·e patch in the world -
the second largest in Malavsia, is
onlv one-tenth oí its size.
UNLS(O has declared a patch in
the Sundarbans mangro·e íorests
as a world heritage site. 1his has
resulted in signiíicant donors'
interest and in·estment in the area.
and mav lead to steps to protect
and preser·e this unique. dvnamic
but íragile and complex ecosvstem.
It co·ers an area oí 5¯¯0 sq. km. oí
land and water with altitude ranges
írom sea le·el to three metres.

Figure 3: Moist soil and ….root of the mangrove (above).
Dangerous looking dense forest with lots of
canel and rivers (below).
In addition to íorest resources. the Sundarbans íorest is extremelv important íor íish
production. wildliíe conser·ation. recreation and ser·es as a protecti·e barrier against coastal
erosion. cvclones. storms and tidal surges. 1he mangro·e íorests and mudílats pro·ide ·ital
breeding and nurserv areas íor íin íish. crustaceans and molluscs.

1his íorest is below the mean high tide le·el and most part goes under water during the high
tides. L·erv dav the tidal water sweeps the whole íorest twice. \ith hundreds oí morasses.
swamps manv oí which ha·e graduallv íilled up,. estuaries. large and small ri·ers. canals.
creeks. which interlace with each other. the Sundarbans is dangerous-looking`. lig 3,

It is a tangled region oí estuaries. ri·ers and watercourses. enclosing a ·ast number oí islands
oí ·arious shapes and sizes. About one third oí the total area oí this íorest is co·ered bv
ri·er channels and tidal creeks. ·arving in width írom just a íew meters to 5 kilometers in
some places. 1his high densitv and large íorest also pro·ides protection against coastal
erosion and cvclones.
1he dominant tree species are sundri íeritiera tove.). írom which the Sundarbans takes its
name. and gewa í·coecaria agattocba). hantal palm Pboevi· patvao.a). Sundri and gewa co·er
most oí the Sundarbans but Ory.a coarctata. ^ypa trvticav. and ívperata cytivarica are pre·alent
on mud ílats Khan. 1986,. Large stands oí keora ´ovveratia apetata are íound on newlv
accreted mud banks and pro·ide important wildliíe habitat R.L. Salter. 198¯,.
Sundarbans is home to manv diííerent species oí birds. mammals. insects. reptiles and íishes.
O·er 120 species oí íish and o·er 2¯0 species oí birds ha·e been recorded in the
Sundarbans. Seidensticker and lai 1983, report a total oí 334 plant species. representing
245 genera. present in the Bangladesh portion oí the delta. 1he Gangetic Ri·er Dolphin
Ptatavi.ta gavgeticv., is common in the ri·ers. No less than 50 species oí reptiles and 8 species
oí amphibians are known to occur. 1he Sundarbans now support the onlv population oí the
Lstuarine. or Salt-\ater (rocodile Crocoaytv. para.v., in Bangladesh lig 4,. and that
population is estimated at less than two hundred indi·iduals.

About 49 species oí mammal has been dominated in this íorest. 1he Sundarbans oí
Bangladesh and India support one oí the largest populations oí tiger Pavtbera tigri. LN,.
with an estimated 350 in that oí the íormer lendrichs. 19¯5,. Again. Gittins estimate oí
Figure 4: Salt-Water Crocodile i.e. Crocodylus parasus (left) and Spotted deer
i.e. Cervus axis in Sundarbans.
430-450 tigers mav be o·eroptimistic Blower. 1985,. Spotted deer Cerrv. a·i. lig 4,.
estimates oí which ·arv between 52.600 Khan. 1986, and 80.000 lendrichs. 19¯5,. and
wild boar ´v. .crota. estimated at 20.000 lendrichs. 19¯5,. are the principal prev oí the tiger.
which also has a notorious reputation íor man-eating. Oí the three species oí otter. smooth-
coated otter ívtra per.picittata VU,. estimated to number 20.000 lendrichs. 19¯5,. is
domesticated bv íishermen and used to dri·e íish into their nets Seidensticker and lai.
1983,. Other mammals include three species oí wild cat. íeti. bevgatev.i.. í. cbav. and í.
1he ·aried and colouríul bird-liíe to be seen along its waterwavs is one oí the Sundarbans'
greatest attractions. A total 315 species ha·e been recorded lussain and Acharva. 1994,.
including about 95 species oí wateríowl Scott. 1989, and 38 species oí raptors Sarker.


3.J What is Shrimp (Black 1iger Shrimp)

1he common name íor Pevaev. vovoaov is the Black 1iger shrimp. or giant tiger prawn. Its
name reíers to the colour oí its shell. which
has grev-black stripes.

Black tiger shrimps grow ·erv íast. and are
culti·ated extensi·elv in Asia. 1hev are
a·ailable throughout the vear in hatcheries in
South-Last Asia including 1hailand.
Bangladesh. India. Southern (hina and
Indonesia,. In the wild thev mav be íound
throughout the Indo-Paciíic region. írom
Southern Aírica to Northern Australia and

3.2 Natures and Procedure of Shrimp Cultivation

Shrimp production in Bangladesh is largelv extensi·e and semi-intensi·e with low capital
inputs. low vield per hectare.

Lxtensive Iarming:
Ali 2002, reports that till earlv 1980s coastal shrimp íarming was almost traditional and
extensi·e in nature. 1he culture practice was bv trapping shrimp lar·ae which would enter
the íarm with tidal water during high tide lig 6, through indigenous sluice gate box tvpe,
placed in \ater De·elopment Board embankment bv cutting it. Stocking oí shrimp írv
collected írom natural water in the coastal region.

(onducted in low-lving impoundments along bavs and ri·ers. Impoundments range in size
írom a íew hectares to o·er a hundred hectares. \hen local waters are known to ha·e high
densities oí lar·al shrimp. the íarmer opens the gates. impounds the wild lar·ae and then
grows them to market size. Shrimp íeed on naturallv occurring organisms. which mav be
Figure 5: Mature Black Tiger Shrimp
encouraged with organic or chemical íertilizer. (onstruction and operating costs are low and
so are vields. (ast-nets and bamboo traps produce har·ests oí 50 to 250 kilograms head-on,
per hectare per vear. Production costs range írom >1.00 to >3.00 per kilogram oí li·e shrimp.
As the coastal region is low lving. that`s whv this tvpe oí íarm is de·eloped not onlv along
the ri·erside or bavside but also miles inside.

Semi-Intensive Iarming:
During earlv 1990. some íarmers started semi intensi·e íor shrimp íarming at a ·erv small
scale lig ¯,. (onducted abo·e the high tide line. semi-intensi·e íarming introduces careíullv
laid out ponds 2 to 30 hectares,. \ater exchanged to and írom the pond bv pumping.
Pumps exchange írom 0per cent to 25per cent oí the water a dav. 1he íarmer har·ests bv
draining the pond through a net. or bv using a har·est pump. \ields range írom 500 to 5.000
kilograms head-on, per hectare per vear. Production costs range írom >2.00 to >6.00 per
kilogram oí li·e shrimp. 1his tvpe oí íarming is growing íast.

Figure 6: Features of Extensive Shrimp Farming
Figure 7: Features of Semi-Intensive Shrimp Farming

Bangladesh`s coastal brackish water shrimp export sector has grown o·er the past thirtv
vears in response to expanded global demand íor high qualitv seaíood and attempts bv
go·ernments to di·ersiív the economv Pokrant et al. 2002,. 1he írozen íood export sector
is the second largest export sector in Bangladesh`s economv. 1he contribution oí this sector
towards GDP is about 4.¯ per cent and oí the total export. 9.38 per cent. About 10 million
people are directlv or indirectlv dependent on this sector Aítabuzzaman: 1998,. Pokrant
2001, write that in 1999-2000 Bangladesh seaíood exports earning were some US> 356
million írom írozen shrimp alone and accounting íor 6.28 per cent oí total export earnings.
It now co·ers about 3¯5 thousand acres sprawled o·er 9000 íarms. 18 per cent oí the total
íarms in the world.

Most oí the shrimp culture in such íarms is done through extensi·e method. producti·itv
a·eraging onlv 120 kg´ha´vear. Pokrant 2001, shows that in 2000 Bangladesh stood íiíth bv
·olume 58183 M1, and eighth bv ·alue appx. US> 200 million, oí shrimp. Recent data
shows the export earning stands at US> 301 million GOB. 2002,. It has created substantial
emplovment on shrimp íarms as well as trade and commerce. processing and marketing.
Shrimp culti·ation in·ol·es acti·ities. such as beheading oí shrimp. ice breaking in the ice
íactories and shrimp írv catching. 1hese acti·ities gi·es jobs íor the local people. 1here are
43 commerciallv run hatcheries. se·eral ice plants and íeed mills emploving male and íemale
wage laborers. At the shrimp íarm le·el there are thousands oí leased in lands or landowner
operated shrimp íarms run on capitalist and´or prettv commercial lines.


Islam et at 1999, studied the impacts oí shrimp íarming on soil and water qualitv in some
selected areas and the results oí the studv demonstrated some ad·erse impact oí shrimp
íarming on soil properties bv increasing soil salinitv le·els up to 500 per cent, in non-saline
area that hampered crop culti·ation seriouslv.

Manju 1996, íound income loss íor the peasant households due to shrimp culture. Income
losses occurred írom decline in rice producti·itv. loss oí poultrv and li·estock and erosion oí
homestead ·egetation and social íorestrv. le also stated that halí oí jackíruit and mango
trees were destroved and one-third oí cattle heads disappeared in the shrimp polders during

A scientiíic studv sponsored bv Nijera Kori 1996, íound increase salinitv and soil
degradation and ·egetation loss in the coastal regions.

According to lagler 199¯, culti·ation oí shrimp needs storage oí saline water íor a long
period oí the vear.

In places such as Bangladesh. 1hailand and India. which grow shrimp mainlv íor export to
richer countries. diseases and pollution limit a íarm's liíe to 10 vears. Shrimp íarms located
oíí the Sunderbans. Khulna. Bagerhat. Barisal. Bhola ha·e almost crashed in just about 10
vears. Vast areas oí culti·able land in these districts where once paddv was grown were
turned into shrimp íarms bv being íilled with salt water. It paid oíí instantlv. But aíter about
ten vears oí har·esting. these shrimp íarms ha·e crashed because oí ·irus iníection.
Pathogens settle into the muck oí shrimp waste and unconsumed íodder. poisoning a pond
against íurther use. 1he ironv is that e·en when the water has been released. salt has spilled
out in the suríace land and ·ast areas ha·e become uníit íor anv tvpe oí culti·ation. As the
shrimp growers cannot use a pond o·er and o·er again. so thev ha·e to shiít the culti·ation
to somewhere in sorrounding area. 1hus the shrimp culture occupving the agriculture land

Because oí changes in culture practices. saline water is retained íor long time. which ·irtuallv
leads to percolation oí salts in surrounding soil resulting in changes in soil chemistrv. \hen
monsoon rainíall is earlv and hea·v. the shrimp producers keep on adding extra salt into the
water to ensure better growth oí shrimp. 1his extra salt e·entuallv gets stored in the íield
and adds to the le·el oí soil salinitv íurther. 1his process hampers the microbiological svstem
and decreases the soil íertilitv signiíicantlv.

1he primarv ad·erse eííect oí excessi·e salinitv is to raise the concentration oí soil solution.
as a result oí which the ílow oí water into the plant bv osmosis is reduced or re·ersed and
the plant is star·ed oí water e·en throng the soil is moist and to create phvsiological drought

A studv oí (ARL International. 1999 shows a·erage number oí cow per household
decreases signiíicantlv. 1he íigure was 1.6 in 1999. which was 2.3 in 1980. In 1980. data
shows 81.¯ per cent households ha·e cows but in 1999 data shows 49.3 per cent household
ha·e cows. A·erage number oí poultrv per household was 3.8 in 1980. But in 1999 it
increased at 5.2 nos. poultrv per household. A·erage number oí goat per household was 3.3
nos. in 1980 but in 1999 it decreased at 1.3 nos.

Li·estock populations ha·e decreased due to loss oí common resources íor grazing. 1he rate
oí decreasing grazing land is 64 per cent than last twentv vears. 1he reasons oí decreasing
grazing lands are shrimp culture expansion. Low lving land where people used to grow onlv
one crop a vear was pre·iouslv used as common grazing land íor much oí the vear. As a
result. the number oí cattle and goats has íallen. \hereas. number oí ducks has increased.
because households preíers domesticate ducks as it is easv to get enough shrimp ponds íor
rearing oí ducks.


Shrimp fry collection
In Bangladesh. hatcherv production remains quite limited and íulíils around 1¯ per cent oí
the demand 40 million PL per vear,. Moreo·er. íarmers preíer wild PLs because oí their
hardv characteristics. In general. sur·i·al oí wild PLs is higher than hatcherv PLs as thev
hatch and grow up in natural conditions.

Nets with small or ·erv íine mesh are using to capture shrimp írv írom wild stock 1ouíique.
2000, lig 8,. 1ouíique. 2000 also íound that the polluted wastewater is generallv pumped
back into the surrounding en·ironment in order to sa·e costs.

1he íishermen are especiallv interested to catch the shrimp post lar·a PL, írom the ri·er
lig 8, and in the process also collect írv oí diííerent species as bv-catch`. 1he catch-ratio`
showing the a·erage number oí species caught in 1998 was shrimp 1¯6 and 235.956 íries oí
other species. In 1999. the a·erage ratio was shrimp 100 and 202.838 íries oí other species.
In 2000. the ratio was
shrimp 332 and other
species 442.482. It has been
calculated that during
collection oí a single shrimp
PL on a·erage 1.341 íries oí
diííerent species were caught
in 1998. 2.038 íries in 1999.
and 1.611 íries in 2000. Bv
catch` consisted oí diííerent
species írv and post lar·ae.
In the studv the identiíied
bv catches` are chela
´atvo.tova .p..,. (haua
P.evaopocryptv. tavceotatv.,.
kuchia Movopterv. cvcbia ,.
laishsa ßaritiv. .p..,. Kakila.
Kakra Potavov .p..,. Loita íarpoaov vevereov.,. lorina Metapeveav. vovocero.,. (hacca Cbaca
cbaca, Bele. dogra and other unidentiíied species. As a result. natural catch oí íish has
decreased 90per cent o·er last 20 vears. Moreo·er a declining catch oí wild shrimp post
lar·ae has been reported in Bangladesh Islam A.. 1999, where there is concern íor o·er-
íishing oí post lar·ae.

Chemical use
Shrimp íarmers applv diííerent tvpes oí chemicals´medicine to sa·e their ponds írom
oxvgen deíiciencv and disease problem. 1he íarmers are not aware about the eííecti·eness oí
these chemicals as well as the impact oí the use oí these chemicals on pond en·ironment.

1he sur·ev conducted bv (ARL showed that about 21 per cent íarmers used Potassium
permanganate. 18per cent used Aqua-nourish. 1¯ per cent used (apsule and 14 per cent
Agro-íish and almost all chemicals were used mainlv íor impro·ing water qualitv and to
pre·ent diseases. Sometimes o·eruse oí the chemical might be the cause oí killing oí manv
li·ing organism.

Iishmeal from aqua lives
Shrimp íarming relv hea·ilv on compound aqua íeeds made largelv írom íishmeal. because
thev mimic the composition oí the natural íood oí carni·orous íish and crustaceans and are
the simplest means oí pro·iding the nutritional requirements needed bv these species on a
dailv basis.

Shrimp íarmers ha·e traditionallv used the meat írom the íreshwater Apple Snail Pita
gtobo.a, as a íeed íor the prawns lig 9,. As shrimp íarming became more popular the
demand íor snail meat grew and the har·est oí snails intensiíied so much so that thev

Figure 8: Series of fishermen's boad catching shrimp fry from river
using nets.

disappeared írom manv local wetlands. (ollection areas extended to nearbv districts. 1he
estimated annual har·est oí P. gtobo.a írom ·arious Beel. (anals. and rice íields in 1999 was
365.849 Metric 1ons (ARL 1999, lig 9,.

P. Ctobo.a plavs an important role in the wetland ecosvstem occupving an intermediate role
in the íood chain consuming phvto-plankton. algae. aquatic plants and insects. 1he eggs are
a potential íeed íor íish. snakes. ducks. rats and birds. 1he recvcling oí alkaline elements
íound in the shell oí the snail could also be important in maintaining water and soil
chemistrv. 1he long-term eííects oí this species remo·al on the ecological balance oí the
wetlands are unknown.

Depletion of wetlands
1he wetlands are the natural breeding grounds íor nati·e´wild íish and support a wide range
oí wetland ílora and íauna. During the shrimp re·olution. the low-lving land in the wetlands
was highlv sought aíter as it was most easilv con·erted into rainíed ponds that could retain
water throughout the vear. Most oí the wetland area and manv oí the canals are the
"liíelines" through which íish migrate to and írom Bangladesh's main ri·er svstems are now
congested with shrimp ponds. 1he poor drainage and reduced ílow has caused manv canals
to completelv silt up. Destruction oí their natural íeeding and breeding grounds has led to
sharp declines in nati·e íish populations. Due to salinitv manv íresh water íish species like
Rvbi. Katta. ´bote. ßoat. )evgra. Koi. ´bivg etc. are about to extinct in the localities. Dutta 2001,
íeels that long term inundation has destroved the traditional íish population oí the coastal
regions. Along with the likelv decline in íish populations and di·ersitv. manv other species oí
ílora and íauna ha·e disappeared írom these wetland areas.

Islam et al 1999, íound water bodies are contaminated with high salinitv up to 22 ppt, that
does not ía·or growth oí manv íresh water organisms.

Figure 9: Tons of snails stocked by roadside after collection (left), a farmer
preparing snails to feed the shrimp (right).
1he higher concentration oí salts in soil due to expansion oí improper shrimp culti·ation
also ad·erselv aííects the avvovitier. and decreases the number oí denitriíving.
microorganisms. lowe·er. nitriíication shown to ·arv with the nature oí the salt and with
the le·el salinitv. (onsequentlv. the nitriíving organisms are considered to be more sensiti·e
to salts as compared to avvovitier.. 1he population oí ..otobacter diííer on ·arious salt
concentrations. 1he number oí íungi colonies decreased with increasing salinitv oí the soil.
\hen the solute in water increase in concentration. cellular dehvdration commences
ultimatelv causing he death oí the organisms.

Moreo·er. manv shrimp íarmers ·erv oíten kill mammals and reptiles considering them
harmíul íor the shrimp i.e.. the animals could eat shrimp and share the íoods oí shrimp.
Manv oí those animals ha·e been almost abolished írom shrimp producing localities Manju.


Reserve mangrove forest:

ligh percentages rates oí destruction oí mangro·es and other tvpes oí wetlands ha·e
occurred in Indonesia. Vietnam. Bangladesh. India and londuras in the Gulí oí lonseca.
Rosamond. 2002,. In order íor shrimp ponds to maintain intensi·e vields and high returns
the wholesale con·ersion oí surrounding
land areas is required. Aquaculture
production oí shrimp has become the
most relentless destrover oí large areas oí
pristine tropical wetlands. Mangro·e
íorests are the most notable ecosvstems
that ha·e íallen prev to shrimp pond
construction. with the massi·e destruction
oí mangro·e íorests in Latin America and
Asia. A number oí shrimp ponds ha·e
been de·eloped along the peripherv oí
Sundarbans mangro·e reser·e íorest area.

1he extreme íishing pressure has eííect on shrimp as well as other important ri·erine species
that spawn in the coastal areas. It is discussed in section 6.0 about how collection oí wild
shrimp írv lig 10, destrovs marine species as bv-catch. As a result. it destrovs the
en·ironment oí the coastal area or mangro·e ecosvstem.

Non-reserve mangroves:

1he process oí mangro·e destruction in south-western districts started two decades ago.
which disbeneíitted both the natural en·ironment. ecosvstems and social svstems Deb. 199¯
and Manju. 1996,.

Aítabuzzman 1998, emphasizes that mangro·es plav an important role in ecologv oí coastal
zones and support the marine species that utilize mangro·e en·ironment during part or all oí
their liíe cvcle and appropriate utilization oí mangro·e resources allows íor maintaining high
Figure 10: Shrimp fry catching inside the Sundarban
reserve forest area.
le·el oí integritv in the mangro·e area while capitalizing on the economic beneíits oí
brackish water aquaculture. \ith the rapid expansion oí shrimp íarming. the mangro·e
ecosvstem has been greatlv aííected Manju. 1996,.

Mangro·e trees are common in all o·er the coastal areas oí Bangladesh apart írom the
Sundarbans íorest. 1he pond construction eradicates natural mangro·e ·egetation: the
construction oí canals and dikes alters irre·ersiblv the hvdrological characteristics oí the
coastal areas. Aíter a pond has exhausted its useíulness. usuallv within three to six vears
growers mo·e along the coast. destroving mangro·es and rice íields to make room íor more


1. Lstiblish procedures íor LIA Ln·ironmental Impact Assessment, and monotoring
to minimize the ad·erse ecological changes and related social and economic
consequences resulting írom water extraction. land use. discharge oí eííluents. use oí
drugs and chemicals and other acti·ities.

2. (oastal zoing should include impro·e land use planning. minimize conílicts o·er
land tenure and identiív appropriate areas íor shrimp culti·ation and areas that need
to be protected. Saline water shrimp culti·ation mav be restricted onlv where the soil
salinitv le·el is high. 1here is also need íor impro·ed iníormation svstem to manage
and plan íor íuture growth.

3. 1here is a need to engage all the diííerent stakeholders in regular dialogue on issues
aííecting the industrv to ensure the sustainabilitv and social equitv oí shrimp sector.

4. 1here is a need to impro·e extension mechanisms and impro·e linkages between
íarmers. extensionists and researchers to de·elop and select appropriate technologv
and make it more accessible to shrimp íarmers.

5. 1here is a need íor: better cooperation and sharing and dissemination oí iníormation
about disease pre·ention and control methods: impro·ed disposal methods íor
diseased írv: guidelines on handling diseased írv: and training íacilities íor the

6. Present hatcheries can supplv onlv 1¯ percent oí the total demand oí shrimp írv. So.
there is the urgent need to increase the number oí hatcheries or to increase the
production oí shrimp írv bv the existing hatcheries 1here is a need íor an external
regulator to pre·ent price íixing and assure the qualitv oí hatcherv írv to build
coníidence oí íarmers in hatcherv írv.

¯. 1he need íor írv catching to be regulated. lrv catching should be banned in areas
where there are adequate hatcheries and in certain ecologicallv sensiti·e areas such as
the Sunderbahns and migration routes. 1hese need to be identiíied.

8. A seasonal ban should be applied during the main íish breeding season írom August
to Januarv because there is no PL requirement during the rainv season and stocking
PL during the winter months can result in high mortalities.

9. Shrimp írv catching bv currentlv used íine meshed nets should be banned or at least
regulated through a licensing svstem. Mesh sizes íor other nets should also be

10. Research should be promoted to íind out the wav íor reclamation oí salt aííected soil
íor íuture use íor agriculture purpose. Mulching impro·es the phvsical and
microbiological properties oí salt aííected soils and promotes leaching oí soluble
salts. Research to íind out appropriate solution íor post drainage management íor
the salt aííected or waste water to be drained íorm a shrimp pond.

11. Some vears back. a trend has been started to culture saline water shrimp in íresh
water pond. 1his process is still in experiment stage. 1his wav oí shrimp culti·ation
ií possible in sustainable manner. then could reduce the ad·erse eííect oí existing
shrimp culti·ation. So. initiati·e should be taken to íind out sustainable wav oí
shrimp culti·ation.


Shrimp sulti·ation has ecological impact in terms oí salinitv increase. destroving marine
species and loss oí biodi·ersitv. Inspite oí the negeti·e impact on ecologv. the economic
importance oí shrimp cannot be o·erlooked íor a de·eloping countrv like bangladesh.
Proper managemnt and planning can gi·e a sustainable gowth and bebeíit oí shrimp
culti·ation. Pollution. destruction oí sensiti·e coastal habitats. threats to aquatic biodi·ersitv
and signiíicant socio-economic costs must be balanced against the direct economic beneíits
or earning írom the shrimp culti·ation.


Aítabuzzaman. 1998. Sustainable Lnvironment Iriendly Aqua-culture. (entre íor Policv
Dialogue Report No. 18. (entre íor Policv Dialogue. Dhaka. Bangladesh

Ali Md. Liaquat.. 2002. Policy Iramework for Iisheries Sector Development in
Bangladesh, B(AS. unpublished monograph,. Dhaka

Bhattacharva D.. Rahman M.. Khatun l.A.. 1999. Lnvironmental Impact of 1rade
Liberalization and Policies for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: A
Case Study on Bangladesh's Shrimp Iarming Industry. (entre íor Policv Dialogue
(PD,. Dhaka. Bangladesh

Blower. J. 1985,. Sundarbans Iorest Inventory Project, Bangladesh. Wildlife
conservation in the Sundarbans. Project Report 151. O·erseas De·elopment
Administration. Land Resources De·elopment (entre. Surbiton. UK. 39 pp.

(ARL. 1999.. Lnvironmental Impacts of Gher Iarming. Online Document.

Deb A. K.. 199¯. Iake Blue Revolution: Lnvironmental and Socio-Lconomic Impact
of Shrimp Culture in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh. (ommunitv De·elopment
(entre (D(,. (anada.

Dutta A.. 2001. Who Benefits and at What Costs? Lxpanded Shrimp Culture in
Bangladesh, in Grassroots Voice. A Journal oí Indigenous Knowledge and De·elopment
Vol. III. Issue. IV. Dhaka. Bangladesh.

1he American leritage. Dictionarv oí the Lnglish Language. lourth Ldition. loughton
Miíílin (ompanv. 2000.

1he Independent 2002. Shrimp Iarming: Lcological Impact has to be assessed.
newspaper article. Dhaka. Bangladesh

GOB. 2002. Shrimp Aquaculture in Bangladesh: a vision for the future. Dhaka.

lagler. M. 199¯. Shrimp: the devastating delicacy, a greenpeace report. Online

lendrichs. l. 19¯5,. 1he status of the tiger Panthera tigris (Linne, J758) in the
Sundarbans mangrove forest (Bay of Bengal,. Saugetierkundliche Mitteilungen 23: 161-

lussain. K. Z. and Acharva. G. eds., 1994,. Mangroves of the Sundarbans. Volume
two: Bangladesh. IU(N. Bangkok. 1hailand.

Islam. S.. 1999. Impact of Gher Iarming on Agriculture and Livestock. a Studv report.
(ARL Bangladesh. GOLDA Project. Dhaka. Bangladesh.

Islam A.. 1999. Lffects of Shrimp Iarming on the Physico-Chemical and Biological
Qualities of Water. Bangladesh Agriculture Uni·ersitv. Mvmensingh. Bangladesh

Khan. M. A. R. 1986,. Wildlife in Bangladesh mangrove ecosystem. Journal oí the
Bombav Natural listorv Societv 83: 32-48.

Manju. 1. 1996,. Political Lconomy of Shrimp Culture in Bangladesh. Po·ertv
Research Report 13. Grameen 1rust. in Bangla,.

Nijera Kori 1996,. 1he Impact of Shrimp Cultivation on Soils and Lnvironment in
Paikgacha Region, Khulna (Limited to Polders 20, 2J, 22, 23 and 24). Khuina.

Pagiola. S. 1995,. Lnvironmental and Natural Resource Degradation in Intensive
Agriculture in Bangladesh. Paper No. 15 oí the Ln·ironmental Lconomics Series. \orld
Bank. June 1995.

Pokrant R.J. and Bhuivan S.. 2001. 1he Coastal Shrimp Sector in Bangladesh : Review
of the Literature with Annotated Bibliography. Bangladesh (entre íor Ad·anced Studies.
Dhaka. Bangladesh

Pokrant B.. Ree·es P. and Rahman A.A.. 2002. 1he Organization and Development of
Coastal Brackish-Water Lxport-Oriented Shrimp Production in Bangladesh: A
Critical Review of the Literature. In Deli·ered at the ISA XV \orld (ongress oí
Sociologv in Brisbane. Session ¯. Australia. Unpublished,

Prima·era. J. l. 1994. Shrimp Iarming in the Asia-Pacific: environmental and trade
issue and regional cooperation. 1igbauan. Philippines.

Rosamond. L et. el. 2002. Lffects of Aquaculture on world fish supplies. Internet

Sarker. S. U. 1985,. Density, productivity and biomass of raptorial birds of the
Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Proceedings oí SAAR( Seminar on Biomass Production. 15
April 1985. Dhaka. Pp. 84-92.

Scott. D. A. Ld., 1989,. A Directory of Asian wetlands. IU(N. Gland. Switzerland and
(ambridge. UK. 1.181 pp.

Seidensticker. J. and lai. M. A. 1983,. 1he Sundarbans Wildlife Management Plan:
conservation in the Bangladesh coastal zone. IU(N. Gland. Switzerland. 120 pp.

1ouíique. K.A.. 2002. Impact of structural adjustment Policies on the environment in
Bangladesh. BIDS. Dhaka.

1ouíique K.A.. 1998. 1echnological Capability in the Shrimp Processing Sector in
Bangladesh. Bangladesh Institute oí De·elopment Studies BIDS,. Dhaka.

\istrand. Asa.. 2002. Lnvironmental and Social Cost of Shrimp Aquaculture. Online
Document. www.u·m.edu

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful