Sustainable production of small fish in wetland areas of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is rich in aquatic resources with extensive seasonal and perennial water bodies throughout the country. In the past, the expansive floodplains, oxbow lakes, beels, and haors were home to a vast range of fish species. Of the 260 fishes found in the inland waters of Bangladesh, 150 grow to a small size (maximum length of about 25 cm), and these are found in the wetlands. Small fish, for example, mola (Amblypharyngodon mola), darkina (Esomus danricus) and dhela (Osteobrama cotio cotio) are rich in vitamin A, calcium, zinc, and iron, providing a vital source of micronutrients for pregnant and lactating women, and young children. The re-establishment of these species in wetland areas through stock enhancement can increase fish production and provide micronutrients to local communities living in the floodplains and the population at large. Mola also commands a high market price, and is a popular fish in markets. Over time, a significant number of these species have declined. Yet, 30% of total fish production comes from these water bodies and supply vital income and food for the country’s rural poor. In an effort to repopulate and sustainably manage the stocks of micronutrient-rich small fish, such as mola, a set of sustainable low-cost technologies has been developed. These technologies can significantly increase fish production from beels, haors, ditches and floodplains. This brochure provides an introduction to sustainable, low-cost technologies that can increase the production and productivity of mola and other small fish species in wetland areas of Bangladesh.


Thilsted, S.H., Wahab, M.A. (2014)
CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. Penang, Malaysia. Brochure: AAS-2014-07