Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the countrymen and authorities concerned to maximise use of water bodies to boost further the fisheries sector while Bangladesh ranked third in global fish production.
Opening the National Fisheries Week, the premier expected the fish to be a major component to expand the country's export basket with increased production after meeting the domestic protein demands.
"I believe that we will have no (fish) scarcity and be able to expand the export basket incorporating this item (in a larger volume) if people having water-bodies give an extra emphasis on fish farming," she told the inauguration of National Fisheries Week-2022.
The premier joined the ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) arranged by the Department of Fisheries appearing in a virtual platform from her Ganabhaban official residence when she also distributed the National Fisheries Award of the year.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Bangladesh became third largest fish producer in 2018 while in 2020, the UN organisation reported the country's position stood at 11 percent in capture fisheries alone.
Sheikh Hasina stressed the need for establishing food and fish producing industries in the 100 economic zones being set up across the country.
She also urged the young generation to join hands to establish industries to help generate employment and increase the number of export items and foreign exchange earnings.
"If we can establish processing industries and process fish, many countries will import those. We can also export various items produced from fish. It will meet our local demands and increase foreign earnings alongside generating employment largely," she said.
The prime minister heavily came down on the people who are making wholesale criticism saying Bangladesh will face the same situation which Sri Lanka is now facing without realising the essence of the world context under the fallouts of the Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine War.
She added: "Let them say that everything will be ruined. But, we are doing our tasks to move Bangladesh forward. The country must advance as the people are always with us and we have trust in them."
Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim, Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque and Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Dr Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury, spoke at the function.
On behalf of the premier, the agriculture minister handed over medals to 21 persons and organisations.
Seven of them have received gold medals for their significant contribution to increasing fish production, generating employment and earning foreign currency.
A video documentary on the development of the country's fisheries sector under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was screened at the function.
The "National Fisheries Week-2022" has begun across the country from 23 July and will continue till 29 July with the theme of "Nirapad Machhea Varbo Desh, Bangabandhur Bangladesh (The country will be filled with safe fish, Bangabandhu's Bangladesh)".