Agribusiness in Marine Protected Area in Bangladesh

Agribusiness in Marine Protected Area in Bangladesh


Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are heavily marketed as a strategy for safeguarding marine resources and making sure that humans are utilising the oceans sustainably. The “cornerstone” of ocean conservation, as it were [1, 2, 3]. IUCN defines MPAs as “a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural [4]. The terms “sanctuaries,” “marine parks,” “ecological reserves,” “fish replenishment areas,” “fishery exclusion zones,” “fisheries refugia,” “marine reserves,” “national parks,” and “no-take (fishery) reserves” are all used to refer to MPAs. Due to their presence at the nexus of intricate social and biological processes, MPAs come in a variety of designs and forms with varied degrees of maintenance and performance [5]. MPAs can also differ in terms of the degree of limits on resource extraction, methods of implementation, pertinent legal and institutional framework, goals of conservation, or level of stakeholder involvement [1, 5, 7]. A marine protected area (MPA) is a specific section of the ocean or an estuary environment that is managed in accordance with unique rules. Like their terrestrial counterparts, biosphere reserves, marine protected areas (MPAs), usually referred to as marine reserves or marine sanctuaries, are set asides with the aim of balancing biodiversity protection with sustainable human usage. Additionally, they are frequently built to protect the species that live there as well as those that live in neighbouring unprotected habitats from a variety of human activities. By the early 2020s, there were more than 18,000 MPAs that collectively covered 8.2 percent of the ocean. The list of marine protected areas in the United States also includes protected freshwater ecosystems in the Great Lakes.

Objectives of MPA

MPA’s main objective is to safeguard marine ecosystems from some of the most harmful and unstable human activities, such as intensive economic development, mining, and commercial fishing. Each MPA serves as a retreat or safe haven for predators and other significant species that reside both within the MPA and in neighbouring areas by forbidding or regulating these behaviours, which helps to maintain and stabilise the structure of the ecosystems they inhabit. Since they are located in regions of the world where there aren’t many people, MPAs are frequently easier to declare than biosphere reserves because doing so causes the least amount of harm to people’s lives and livelihoods. There are certain MPAs that have been declared as “no-take” zones, which forbid any kind of harvesting or other destructive activity. However, some MPAs may be subject to other regulations; some may be run as multiple-use zones that restrict some activities (like intensive commercial fishing) while permitting others (like recreation or fishing by local residents).

Marine Protected Area in Bangladesh

The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) established a marine reserve with a 698 km2 area in the southern patches and the middle ground fishing zone of the Bay of Bengal in 2000 to offer a secure breeding habitat for marine fisheries species. A 3188 km2 marine reserve was established around Nijhum Dwip Island in 2019. In the Meghna and Padma rivers, their tributaries, and some coastal waters, six sanctuaries were created to guard against recruitment overfishing and growth overfishing in the hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) fisheries. Another management strategy that can be utilised in Bangladesh to define an environmental protection zone is declaring a place an Ecologically Critical Area (ECA). This will help to control and mitigate pollution while also conserving nature sustainably. The coastal zone is home to four of the eleven ECAs. Three wildlife sanctuaries have been established in the Sundarbans mangrove forest for the conservation of marine megafauna, and an MPA has also been established in the Swatch of No-Ground area of the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh is projected to create more protected areas as a result of the recent focus on marine conservation brought on by Aichi Target 11 and SDG 14[8].

Agribusiness in MPA in Bangladesh

Over the 118,813 km2 of maritime areas, Bangladesh enjoys sovereign rights over all coastal or marine living and non-living resources. Based on the present maritime boundary expansion, “blue economy” has become a catchphrase for the country’s economic development as a result of the introduction of irresponsible development projects that harm the marine environment and biodiversity. Due of this, it is imperative that MPAs be established in the coastal regions of Bangladesh’s Bay of Bengal to manage and maintain marine biodiversity. In various international discussions and talks, Bangladesh has consented to or signed documents that have resulted in agreements, conventions, treaties, and protocols.

Production of seaweeds can be a major catalyst for sustainable aquaculture in many developing nations. Approximately 8500 km2 (5 m depth) of Bangladesh’s coastline is exploitable, and there are 335 different species of seaweed living there naturally. Some of these seaweeds are produced on a small scale due to socioeconomic, technological, and environmental constraints. To better understand the current status of seaweed culture, existing challenges, and potential future directions, this study reviewed previous works as well as collected primary data by visiting seaweed farming sites and consulting with farmers and relevant stakeholders [8].


Aquaculture, often known as fish farming, fish culture, or mariculture, is the commercial, recreational, and academic production and care of aquatic plants, animals, and other species. Aquaculture, or the raising of specific marine and freshwater species to supplement the natural supply, can be thought of as the aquatic version of agriculture. This includes production for stocking sport fisheries, for supplying aquatic bait animals, for stocking fee-fishing operations, for providing aquatic organisms for ornamental purposes, for supplying feedstocks to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as for providing food and industrial products. These actions can take place anywhere. At least 500 BCE saw the beginning of aquaculture. However, its commercial significance has only grown since the middle of the 20th century. The cultivation of rather expensive species that are regularly consumed as a fresh product has played a significant role in the fast spread of aquaculture. Shrimp, crayfish, prawns, trout, salmon and oysters are some examples. The production of catfish, carp, and tilapia, which are raised in huge low-energy systems, is rising as well. For instance, since it started to expand in the 1960s, catfish aquaculture in the United States has more than quintupled its output. Some of these freshwater fish are also employed in aquaponics, a hybrid farming method that combines hydroponic plant cultivation with aquaculture; the plants are fed fish excrement. A variety of factors, such as population growth, dietary changes, and improvements in aquaculture technology, have fueled the expansion of the aquaculture industry worldwide. Limitations in the natural supply of ocean resources have also prompted aquaculture to play a larger part in assisting with the fulfilment of rising fish and shellfish demand [9].

Aquaculture in MPA in Bangladesh

Bangladesh succeeds in becoming a leading producer of aquaculture. Quality of the fish and prawns, as well as inadequate food and worker safety regulations, continue to be major issues for the aquaculture industry. If these issues aren’t resolved, the industry’s expansion may swiftly stall. The researchers recommend that, as part of Bangladesh’s larger “blue growth” aquaculture strategy, governments give top priority to product safety and sustainability. By doing this, the quality of fish and shellfish produced in farms will rise and the current growth trajectory will be maintained [10].

Millions of jobs are supported by the fishing and aquaculture industries of Bangladesh, which also generate steady foreign export income. Bangladesh produced the fifth-most aquaculture in the world in 2018, and it is anticipated that the industry would expand much more in the years to come. Within the next seven years, Bangladesh is expected to leave the low-income country group and enter the lower-middle income category; aquaculture exports will be crucial to this shift. The growth of marine aquaculture, also known as mariculture, is well suited to the marine resource base of Bangladesh, which is now even larger as a result of the recent resolution of disputes about maritime boundaries with adjacent nations. Under the umbrella of Bangladesh’s developing blue economy, a number of prospective sectors and prospects for mariculture growth have been identified. The hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha), seabass (Lates calcarifer), and grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) are the most promising fish species, while the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), brown shrimp (Metapenaeus monoceros), Indian white shrimp (Penaeus indicus), and mud crab (Scylla serata) are the most promising shrimp species. Additionally, several marine organisms that aren’t typically found there, such seaweed, microalgae, shellfish (like mussels and oysters), and sea cucumbers, have a lot of potential [11,13].

Fig: The geographical position of Bangladesh and potentially suitable sites for aquaculture/mariculture development in coastal areas. Source: [14].


 Natural with human-made events like cyclones, for example, pollutants brought on by the metal frame with uncertainty in mariculture is also a result of things like the netting used to make the cage operations. Many species require a large initial investment, ongoing operating expenses, and a lengthy time to reach a size that can be sold. Regarding the promotion, help, and backing of aquaculture/mariculture.The primary obstacles to growth in Bangladesh are: (i) site suitability,(ii)the accessibility of seeds and breeding stock, (iii)the price and supply of feed, (iv)the availability of talents, (v)markets, (vi) money, (vii) logistical problems, (viii) environmental problems, and (ix) biosecurity.


Policymakers should take the necessary steps in these area for agribusiness. Several policy recommendations that are likely to be helpful for formulating policies may be advanced.

The strategies that follows are used to leverage key activities: (1) zoning seaweed farming areas; (2) farming intensification and integration; (3) seed banks for commercially significant seaweed species; (4) post-harvest management; (5) value-added products and market development; and (6) creating seaweed-based forward linkage sub-sectors. Overall, the success of seaweed farming in Bangladesh will likely depend on the choice of an appropriate location, the adoption of better culture techniques, the amount of production, and consumer demand.


In the Asia Pacific region, Bangladesh is one of the top producers of aquaculture. Instead of marine aquaculture, freshwater aquaculture has made significant strides during the past 15 years. In contrast to some other tropical and subtropical nations in Southeast Asia, Bangladesh has seen a growth in freshwater aquaculture thanks to the invention of hatchery-based seed production techniques, the innovation and application of advanced aquaculture farming technologies, as well as the development of feed mills. Despite being a potential industry, prawn farming is the only type of marine fish farming that has really taken off. This is the result of a number of problems, such as the accessibility of hatchery-produced seed, the slow development and dissemination of farming technology to farmers, the scarcity of formula feeds that are affordable, the lack of government support, and the paucity of serious initiatives from businesses and organizations in the public and private sectors. Lessons can be learned from these nations, and the Bangladeshi government can advance mariculture through the growth of the blue economy. Then, in order to effectively develop and implement marine aquaculture farming on the country’s coast, inshore, and offshore areas, ministries, departments, and research institutions should team up with interested private enterprises.


  1. Agardy, T. S. 1997. Marine Protected Areas and Ocean Conservation. Academic Press Limited, Texas
  2. Giakoumi, S., J. McGowan, M. Mills, M. Beger, R. H. Bustamante, A. Charles, P. Christie, M. Fox, P. Garcia-Borboroglu, S. Gelcich, P. Guidetti, P. Mackelworth, J. M. Maina, L. McCook, F. Micheli, L. E. Morgan, P. J. Mumby, L. M. Reyes, A. White, … H. P. Possingham. 2018. Revisiting “Success” and “Failure” of Marine Protected Areas: A Conservation Scientist Perspective. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:1–5.
  3. Lubchenco, J., and K. Grorud-Colvert. 2015. Making Waves: The Science and Politics of Ocean Protection. Science 350:382–383.
  4. Day, J., N. Dudley, M. Hockings, G. Holmes, D. Laffoley, S. Stolton, S. Wells and I Wenzel. 2012. Guidelines for Applying the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories to Marine Protected Areas (2nd ed.). IUCN Gland, Switzerland.
  5. Allison, G. W., J. Lubchenco, and M. H. Carr. 1998. Marine Reserves Are Necessary But Not Sufficient for Marine Conservation. Ecological Applications 8:79–92.
  6. Cochrane, K., D. Gréboval, R.S. Pomeroy, J. Sanders, M. Sissenwine, and L. Wstlund. 2011. Fisheries Management: Marine Protected Areas and Fisheries. FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. FAO, Rome.
  7. Pollnac, R. B., B. R. Crawford, and M. L. G. Gorospe. 2001. Discovering Factors That Influence the Success of Community-Based Marine Protected Areas in the Visayas, Philippines. Ocean and Coastal 184 Hum Ecol (2021) 49:171–185 Management 44:683–710. 00075-8
  8. Jentoft, S., J. J. Pascual-Fernandez, R. De la Cruz Modino, M. Gonzalez Ramallal, and R. Chuenpagdee. 2012. What Stakeholders Think About Marine Protected Areas: Case Studies from Spain. Human Ecology 40:185–197.
  9. Pendleton, L. H., G. N. Ahmadia, H. I. Browman, R. H. Thurstan, D. M. Kaplan, and V. Bartolino. 2018. Debating the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas. ICES Journal of Marine Science 75: 1156–1159.
  10. Retrieved from
  11. Retrieved from
  12. AftabUddin, S., Hussain, M. G., Abdullah Al, M., Failler, P., & Drakeford, B. M. (2021). On the potential and constraints of mariculture development in Bangladesh. Aquaculture International29, 575-593.
  13. Islam, M. M. (2021). Social dimensions in designing and managing marine protected areas in Bangladesh. Human Ecology49(2), 171-185.
  14. Chowdhury SR (2014) Maritime Province of Bangladesh (map). University of Chittagong, Bangladesh


Written by Mahamudul Hasan Millat

Research Scholar  

Statistics Discipline

Science, Engineering & Technology School

Khulna University, Khulna-9208, Bangladesh 


Career guideline committee

Rotaract District 3281, Bangladesh 

Email: [email protected]


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