President Zillur Rahman on Monday called for boosting fish production in the country alongside preserving indigenous species of fishes by introducing science-based bio-management strategy.
"It's true that indigenous species of fishes are becoming increasingly unavailable in the country," he said while releasing fish fry at a pond inside Bangabhaban, marking the National Fisheries Week-2012.
Speaking on the occasion, the President stressed taking initiatives to properly use opportunities to collect fishes from the country's extended sea areas. "Our legal right on 111,000 sq kilometers of sea area has been established as the maritime demarcation was recently determined by the international court."
With this, he said, the door of wide opportunities has been opened to collect fishes from the extended sea areas. "This scope will have to be properly utilised."
President Zillur Rahman urged the countrymen to release all sorts of fish fry in their ponds and in wetlands during the rainy season and take care of such fish fry to help enrich country and also build a happy, prosperous Bangladesh with Bangalee's eternal love for fish and rice.
Describing fishes as the suppliers of animal protein, he said the fisheries sector contributes some 5.5 percent of the country's GDP while about 10 percent of its population is directly or indirectly dependent on this sector. "Some 60 percent of animal protein comes from this sector."
The President said fishes have been playing important role in the country's socioeconomic sector through the earning of foreign exchange along with fulfilling the need of protein, creating employment and reducing poverty.
"The contribution of fisheries sector is indispensable for our national economy," he said. Fisheries and Livestock Minister M Abdul Latif Biswas, Secretary of the Ministry, and Director General of Fisheries and Livestock, among others, spoke on the occasion.