Harvesting of Seabass Cultured Using Commercial Feed Based Modern Farming Practices at ATI Aqua Farm, Jimmongkhali, Hnila, Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar

Seabass, a high value brackishwater fish species, is traditionally produced in Bangladesh using trash/live fishes as feed. In a pilot scale production co-initiated by Business Promotion Council, Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation, the species has been cultured in Cox’s Bazar with support from the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. The private sector enterprise ATI Aqua Farm at Jimmongkhali, Hnila, Teknaf played the main role in the pilot project and facilitated the necessary transfer of technology. The first ever harvesting of the species took place at ATI Aqua Farm, Jimmongkhali, Hnila, Teknaf on 27 April, 2024. The Secretary, MoFL, Mr. Md. Selim Uddin, witnessed the harvesting as the Chief Guest whereas Mr. Syed Md. Alamgir Director General, Department of Fisheries, Mr. A.H.M. Ahsan Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Export Promotion Bureau, Mr. Muhammad Shaheen Imran, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Cox’s Bazar, Mr. Md. Boduruzaman, District Fisheries Officer, Cox’s Bazar and Mr. Polash Kumar Ghosh, Assistant Director, Business Promotion Council, also were present on the occasion.

It was informed during the harvesting ceremony that with appropriate application of modern technologies it was possible to produce commercial feed-based seabass in Bangladesh with a positive outcome- anticipated growth of the species meeting planned outcome milestone and minimal incidence of diseases and other growth disruptive factors. It was informed that within a pilot production cycle of 6 months after 21 days nursing at Hatchery level and 30 days nursing at Hapas in the pond the species grew from average fingerlings size (length) of 1.5 cm at the harvesting stage the average length 30 cm and weight of 1+ kg. The participants in the harvesting ceremony observed that this has been a significant achievement.

At the harvesting ceremony, the Chief Guest and other participants expressed the hope that with successful pilot scale production of commercial feed-based seabass a new opportunity will open up for diversifying the products mix in the coastal aquaculture sector of Bangladesh and export basket of Bangladesh Fisheries and Aquaculture Products. They expressed the hope and noted that continued efforts would be needed to scale up the pilot scale production and create necessary backward and forward linkages to facilitate the commercial scale production of the species. For this to happen they noted that significant private-public initiatives would now be necessary to establish breeding facilities for production and supply of sufficient seabass fingerlings, domestic feed production for seabass and sustained efforts to train skill manpower both for hatchery and farming level.

The harvesting ceremony concluded with an expression of thanks to the Business Promotion Council, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and the Department of Fisheries as well as all the personnel of BSFF and ATI Aqua Farm for their supports and assistance in connection with the pilot project.

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