Mola (Amblypharyngodon mola) is one small indigenous fish species (SIS) that has long been identified as an excellent candidate for aquaculture because of its excellent nutritional value. Several organizations in the country have undertaken research and development into mola, including the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) and the Department of Fisheries (DOF) as well as several universities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project improved income and nutrition for thousands of Bangladeshis.
In Bangladesh, homestead pond aquaculture currently comprises a polyculture of large fish species but provides an ideal environment to integrate a range of small fish species. Small fish consumed whole, with bones, head and eyes, are rich in micronutrients and are an integral part of diets, particularly for the poor. Results from three large projects demonstrate that the small fish, mola (Amblypharyngodon mola) contributes significantly to the micronutrients produced from all fish, in homestead ponds, in one production cycle.
Production of the mola carplet (Amblypharyngodon mola), a small vitamin A rich fish, has the potential to reduce human malnutrition in Bangladesh. However, although efforts have been made to promote mola culture, the factors affecting its production are poorly understood. Therefore, this study was undertaken to identify factors contributing to mola productivity in polyculture systems. The study indicates that application of appropriate inputs could be considered to maximize production of mola in future projects attempting to promote its culture.
Small indigenous species (SIS) of fish such as the mola carplet (Amblypharyngodon mola) are rich in nutrients, often containing high levels of zinc, iron, and vitamin A. Despite scientific and government efforts, culture of SIS for improved nutrition is not yet widespread. This paper investigates the contribution of the mola carplet, commonly referred to in Bangladesh as ‘‘mola’’ to household fish consumption, and the factors influencing productivity and income from carp–mola polyculture in southwest Bangladesh.
This study has determined a suitable mesh size for small indigenous fish species (SIS) harvesting and has also developed a new gill net operation technique taking into consideration of aquatic biodiversity conservation, the daily intake of micro-nutrients and the livelihood of the rural community. It provides an insight into how employment of specialized fishing gear can help balance SIS fishing as a source of the rural community’s livelihood against biodiversity conservation.
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.
Since 1961, global per capita fish consumption has nearly doubled. Much of the increase has been due to aquaculture. Bangladesh, the world’s eighth largest fish producing country, has been part of this transformation. Despite having vitamin A supplementation and fortification programs, the prevalence of inadequate vitamin A intake (IVAI) in Bangladesh is very high, estimated to be 60%. The promotion of a small indigenous fish, high in vitamin A- mola carplet - offers a promising food-based approach to improving vitamin A status of the 98% of Bangladeshis who eat fish.
A postcard of fish recipe from the Feed the Future program