Fisheries experts at a workshop in Dhaka on Sunday stressed the need for building institutional capacity to address the growing challenges of the country’s aquaculture sector induced by climate change.
They said the increased incidences of extreme climate events like flood, drought and storm will affect the safety and efficiency of fishing operations in the future and increase damages to coastal and riparian homes, services and infrastructure affecting the aquaculture sector.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Muhammed Sayedul Hoque inaugurated the workshop.
The Department of Fisheries (DoF) in technical and financial support from Global Environmental Facility (gef) and FAO organised the inception workshop on the formulation of ‘Community-based Climate Resilient Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in Bangladesh’ at BARC auditorium in the capital.
DoF director general Syed Arif Azad, FAO experts Dr Soto and H Gonzalez, ERD additional secretary M Ashadul Islam and professor of the Fisheries Management Department at Bangladesh Agriculture University Dr Abdul Wahab, among others, spoke at the seminar.
The speakers said the sea level rise, melting of glaciers in upper areas of major rivers and other large-scale environmental changes will have unpredictable effects on coastal and wetland environments and livelihoods.
The complex links between climate change, fisheries and other sectors will have indirect effects while fisheries are being affected by changing water demands from agriculture, they said.
FAO expert Dr Soto said rapid assessment should be carried out focusing on specific target areas of fisheries sector to understand the role of different institutions, relevant organizations, including women’s organisations and other stakeholders at national and local levels.
She stressed the need for incorporating climate smart fisheries management approaches into relevant national development policies and strategies and developing capacity building strategy for DoF and other government agencies to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change on fisheries sector.
The overall objective of the proposed ‘Community-based Climate Resilient Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in Bangladesh Project’ is to strengthen institutional and technical capacity for reducing vulnerability and promoting climate-resilient practices, plans and strategies for effectively responding to the impacts of climate change and variability in fisheries and aquaculture.