Dwindling Coastal Fisheries Biodiversity of Bangladesh: The Causes and Effects

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  • MOSTAFA A. R. HOSSAIN Department of Fisheries Biology and Genetics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh - 2202, Bangladesh
  • MOHAMMAD R. HASAN Former Aquaculture Officer, Aquaculture Branch, FAO, Rome, Via Roma 90, Fabrica di Roma, VT - 01034, Italy



Bangladesh, Coastal biodiversity, Factors responsible, Fisheries, Impacts, Recommendations


Being a sub-tropical nation in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) Delta with long shoreline along the Bay of Bengal, the coast of Bangladesh is blessed with rich living resources. The country has a coastline of about 710 km and an Exclusive Economic Zone of 121,110 km2. Bangladesh’s coastline extends from St. Martin’s living coral island in the south-east to the Sundarbans-world’s largest adjoining mangrove-in the south-west. The coast holds diverse habitats- coral, sandy, muddy and rocky beaches, salt marshes, grass beds and mangroves - with uniquely diversified faunal configurations. So far, 730 fishes, 150 crustaceans and 336 mollusks have been recorded from the coastal waters of Bangladesh, apart from a number of cephalopods, sea turtles, reptiles, and mammals. Increasing population, destruction of mangroves, pollution, overfishing, and illegal/destructive fishing using set bag nets and monofilament gillnets and an extensive collection of shrimp larvae are the root causes of biodiversity loss in the coast. Already, the near-shore fish stocks are overexploited and catch per unit fishing effort is falling and many shrimp and fish stocks are in the decline. The percentage contribution of marine segment in the fisheries sector of the country is decreasing every year. About 28% of the coastal fishes assessed by IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) are now placed under IUCN Red List of ‘threatened species’. To ensure sustainable fisheries management, a number of laws have been put in place, but the implementation of these laws and regulations is constrained due to conflicts and non-compliance by the stakeholders. Hence, Bangladesh needs a robust legal and policy framework for conservation and sustainable utilization of the coastal resources. Establishment of sanctuaries and marine protected areas following a co-management approach can achieve notable success in protecting coastal biodiversity. Strict enforcement of legal measures aimed at protection of mangroves, development of eco-coastal tourism and social safeguards for resource conservation and management, is needed for long-term and sustainable management of coastal biodiversity of Bangladesh.


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How to Cite

HOSSAIN, M. A. R., & HASAN, M. R. (2021). Dwindling Coastal Fisheries Biodiversity of Bangladesh: The Causes and Effects. Journal of the Indian Society of Coastal Agricultural Research, 39(2), 105-122. https://doi.org/10.54894/JISCAR.39.2.2021.111181