There is limited information on the current management of shrimp culture in Bangladesh and Khulna Division. A National Shrimp Policy was published by the MoFL in 2014. Following this, a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the shrimp industry was produced by the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and the Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Farmers Association (BSFF) in 2015. Good Aquaculture Practices (GAP) for shrimp culture and nursery management have also been produced (in bangla) by BSFF. Fisheries statistical reports are available from Bangladesh Fisheries Information Share (BdFISH) - hosted by the Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi.
Information on the current status and trends in water quality, health management, and disease control was provided by a variety of sources, including open access scientific papers and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s recent Seafood Watch report on shrimp and prawn production in Bangladesh.
Limited qualitative information concerning diseases is available from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) database and the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia Pacific’s (NACA) Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease (QAAD) reports.
Despite numerous high-level regulatory acknowledgments of the importance of zonal management, the approach has not yet been implemented for shrimp farming. A farm-based management approach has been achieved through the introduction of a National Shrimp Policy and a voluntary CoC and GAPs for shrimp farming (BSFF 2017)(DoF and BSFF 2015)(MoFL 2014).
Licensing: Under the MoFL National Shrimp Policy (approved in August 2014), and the CoC, shrimp producers are required to register with the government (DoF) (DoF and BSFF 2015)(Karim 2014)(MoFL 2014)(Tasnoova et al. 2015). Aquaculture license application forms are available from the MoFL website (MoFL 2017) .
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure is published under the Environment Conservation Rules, 1997. Fish and shrimp farms are not included in the list of industries requiring an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC). However, fish, prawn and shrimp processing is classified under the Orange-B category, which requires a detailed EIA and the submission of environmental management plans to the Department of the Environment (DoE) before receiving an ECC (FAO 2018).
At the regulatory level, the following highlight the need for zonal management:
The National Water Policy (1999) states that “brackish aquaculture will be confined to specific zones designated by the Government for this purpose”(DoF 2006)(MoWR 1999).
The National Fisheries Policy (1998) acknowledges the need for defining zones where shrimp should be considered in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment (MoE) (DoF 2006)(MoFL 1998).
The DoF’s Shrimp Sub-Strategy states that shrimp production will only take place in “areas where the prevailing agro-ecological conditions are suitable” and that shrimp farming should not “adversely affect the interests of other land and water user groups or cause environmental harm". The strategy also recommends the identification of zones for brackish water shrimp production (DoF 2006).
The National Shrimp Policy calls for the integration of shrimp farming with other sectors in coastal areas and the introduction of the shrimp farm zoning (MoFL 2014).
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MoFL) through its Department of Fisheries (DoF) is responsible for fisheries and aquaculture development, management and conservation (FAO 2005).
The DoF is supported by scientific advice produced by the government's Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) whose aims include advising the government in all matters relating to research and management of living aquatic resources, technology transfer, and training. It includes a shrimp research station at Bagherhat in Khulna (BFFI 2017)(FAO 2005).
The Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC), supports the DoF and the national seafood industry, including the processing, distribution, and marketing of aquatic products (FAO 2005).
Recently, the BSFF produced a CoC for 10 segments of the Shrimp Aquaculture Industry in Bangladesh in association with the DoF, as well as a GAP (in bangla) for shrimp culture (BSFF 2017)(DoF and BSFF 2015). The BSFF have also published shrimp nursery management guidelines in association with USAID and WorldFish (BSFF 2017).
Water Quality: Chapter 5 of The National Water Act (2013) advocates the management of water resources according to their use, namely, industrial, agricultural, aquaculture and hatcheries (MoL 2010). The DoF’s shrimp sub-strategy calls for shrimp production to be conducted via integrated methods (such as rice/shrimp/fish culture) and semi-intensive production; the latter is limited to designated areas with a cap on the total amount of land available for this type of system (DoF 2006). The CoC states that farms should “dispose of wastewater in an environmentally responsible way” (DoF and BSFF 2015). Schedule 3 of the MoE’s rules for the conservation of the environment sets parameters for inland surface water for various uses including aquaculture (FAO 2018)(Mondal et al. 2015).The National Shrimp Policy calls for an integrated approach to shrimp farming in coastal areas and an end to saltwater seepage into agricultural land (MoFL 2014).
Health Management: The Fish and Fish Product (Inspection and Quality Control) Ordinance 1983 prohibits the export of fish and fishery products without a health certificate (FAO 2005). The National Shrimp Policy calls for a shrimp seed certification process and the introduction of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) PL (MoFL 2014). The use of imported Post Larvae (PL) has stopped and the use of Specific Pathogen Resistant (SPF) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tested PL is encouraged.
Disease Control: The CoC outlines Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) for seafood processing plants - outlining recommended food safety testing procedures and standards for antibiotics and chemicals in raw materials and processed products - as well as recommended testing procedures and limits for microbes in seafood products (DoF and BSFF 2015). The testing of shrimp and shrimp products for veterinary drug residues is a pre-requisite for export products. Pesticide and chemical use (including veterinary drug use) should be in accordance with national and export destination regulations (DoF and BSFF 2015). Both the CoC and BSFF GAP provide a list of banned and permitted chemicals, as well as their associated maximum residue limits (MRL) (BSFF 2017)(DoF and BSFF 2015).
The CoC also advocates a traceability system for all shrimp products exported to the EU or US markets. This requires all shrimp product to be labeled or identified and processing plants to employ codes and records of suppliers in order to ensure the full traceability of raw materials (DoF and BSFF 2015).
Water Quality: Both the CoC and GAP have established farm-level wastewater quality parameters for giant tiger shrimp farms and hatcheries (BSFF 2017)(DoF and BSFF 2015)(Seafood Watch 2017).
Health Management: The CoC outlines biosecurity measures for both shrimp hatcheries and farms, including those concerning traceability – such as keeping records on the source of stock (broodstock and PL) and product destination. Hatcheries are required to test all broodstock for viruses, pathogens, and contaminants. Farms are required to avoid the “introduction of potential disease-carrying vectors (crabs, other shrimp species, etc.)” by minimizing water exchange (DoF and BSFF 2015).
Disease Control: Antibiotics, drugs and other chemicals that are banned in Bangladesh or potential export destinations are prohibited. Chemicals that are restricted due to their potential health hazard potential should be avoided. Approved chemicals and drugs should be used as directed on product labels, and not for prophylactic use. The withdrawal period for any drug should also be followed. Farms should only use nationally and internationally approved additives, preservatives and growth promoters (DoF and BSFF 2015). A list of approved and prohibited drugs for aquaculture use according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the EU are provided in both the CoC and GAP (BSFF 2017)(DoF and BSFF 2015).
Industry and Management Performance
It is not possible to assess producer compliance with license requirements due to a lack of information. Despite the requirement to register farms with the DoF, a substantial number of farms have not been registered (Tasnoova et al. 2015). There is no indication of the number of farms registered or of adherence to BSFF’s voluntary CoC or GAP standards.
Water Quality: According to Ahmed (2013) and Debnath et al, (2013), most shrimp ponds are classified as extensive or improved extensive (Ahmed 2013)(Debnath et al. 2013). As a result, they are regarded as net removers of nutrients, resulting in lower levels of nitrogen and phosphorus levels in discharge water and the retention of nutrients in the pond ecosystems (Rouf et al. 2013)(Seafood Watch 2017).
Health Management: A recent study by Bhowmick and Crumlish (2016) reports that there is a current lack of bio-security measures for both extensive and semi-intensive systems. Famers reported that WSD was the main cause of losses based on an observation of clinical signs and symptoms. Disease risk factors included the sharing of water sources with other farms, the use of unscreened PL, high salinity levels, shallow ponds, and a lack of in-pond nursing (Bhowmick and Crumlish 2017). The main disease of concern is white spot disease (WSD), which was first detected in Bangladesh in 1994 and was probably introduced via the import of infected PL (Bhowmick and Crumlish 2017). WSD appears to be more prevalent in southwest Bangladesh (Khulna) (Seafood Watch 2017).
The industry’s susceptibility to WSD is affected by its reliance on wild-sourced broodstock, which is often a carrier of this disease (Seafood Watch 2017). Other diseases reported by giant tiger shrimp farmers are Black gill disease, Black spot disease, and Brown spot disease (Jahan et al. 2016).
Disease Control: A range of disinfectants, antibiotics, and pesticides are used, however, chemical use is low compared to other Asian countries due to extensive nature of the systems ((Ali et al, 2016). The most commonly used chemicals include calcium oxide (liming) and zeolite for soil and water treatment and chlorine as a disinfectant (Ali et al. 2016)(Seafood Watch 2017). Shrimp hatcheries have been recorded as using various antibiotics including those prohibited by the CoC and export markets such as chloramphenicol (Islam 2008). The United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published an import alert (No. 16-129), concerning Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE) for a list of firms from multiple countries, due to the historic presence of nitrofurans in imported seafood (including reference to shrimp from Khulna in 2016)(FDA 2018).
From 2015 to 2018 the European Commission’s, Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal records four occasions when shrimp testing positive for prohibited substances (either nitrofurans or malachite green); although the state of origin is noted. All of these were classified as serious (European Commission 2018).
Trends in Performance
Water Quality: Despite the view of extensive shrimp ponds as nutrient sinks there are concerns over the impact of shrimp culture on other aspects of water quality. Most notably, repeated concerns over the degradation and salinization of agricultural land (IMF 2013)(Islam 2008)(Paul and Vogl 2011)(Seafood Watch 2017). In addition, there is an increasing demand for the use of supplemental pelleted feed which is likely to lead to higher organic effluent loads (Portley 2016).
Health Management: A crucial step in shrimp health management is the selection of quality PL. Bhowmick and Crumlish (2016) observed that farmers using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tested PL by WorldFish reported better survival rates than those that did not (Bhowmick and Crumlish 2017). The import of PL has stopped; however, WSD is now endemic to Bangladesh in both farmed and wild shrimp populations (Seafood Watch 2017)(World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) 2017). Until recently, Bangladesh was unaffected by Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) (OIE, WAHIS, 2017). However, recent media reports indicate its presence (Ramsden 2018).
Disease Control: Under the Bangladesh Environment Act and its subsequent regulations, shrimp exporters require quality control licenses issued by the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) (Khatun 2013). The DoF has gradually introduced a laboratory-based quality control system for inspection of export consignments known as the Fish Inspection and Quality Control Laboratories; of which one laboratory is based in Khulna (Islam et al. 2016). A National Residue Monitoring Control Plan (NRCP) has been established in order to test for the presence of banned antibiotics in shrimp products, feed and feed ingredients (Hassan et al. 2013). It is not clear if these three systems are linked or are independent of each other.
According to the National Aquaculture Development Strategy and Action Plan for Bangladesh (2013-2020), an aquaculture information and communication support system was planned by the end of 2016, which was to be accessible to all local DoF and association offices by 2020 (FAO and Government of Bangladesh 2014).
Health Management: No information available.
Disease Control: No information available.