A high tech fish farming research facilities — Fishtech Laboratories opened in Khulna last week aimed at making a breakthrough in commercial fish and shrimp farming and aquaculture business in Bangladesh.
The WorldFish Bangladesh joined with the Fishtech (BD) Limited in opening of the facilities known as “Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory” – the first of its kind in the country.
Shenchang Senapin, the lead researcher at the Center for Excellence of Shrimp at Mahidol University in Thailand is leading consultant for this Laboratory project. Mir Mosharraf Hossain, an Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Marine Bioscience of Jessore University of Science and Technology will work as coordinator of the project.
He is known as a leading researcher in Fisheries and Shrimp Pathology in Bangladesh.
The Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory is a specialized first-time PCR-based mollicular fish laboratory in Khulna, in the southern part of Bangladesh.
Funded by the USAID’s Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture Activity, the specialized ‘Fishtech Laboratory’ is a joint partnership between the international research organization WorldFish Bangladesh and FishTech (BD) Limited. It will work to promote entrepreneurs and development program for commercial fish farming across Bangladesh.
The lab facilities will help diagnose various fish and shrimp diseases and run soil and water testing of respective farms and ponds. The Laboratory has already started functions aimed at enhancing fish and shrimp production and increased farmers profits to improve the livelihoods of small fish farmers in the Southern part of the country.
The Laboratory has been equipped with RT-PCR technology to diagnose a total of 11 types of harmful viruses and bacterial diseases in fish and shrimp along with state-of-art scientific equipment from Europe, America and other countries for testing 18 properties of soil and water.
According to Annual Fisheries Survey – 2018-19, total fish production in Khulna division was 6,612 84 metric tons. However, like the fish farming communities in other parts of the country, fish farmers in Khulna and the southern part of the country are also affected by outbreak of various fish and shrimp diseases.
In particular, they are losing interest in shrimp farming. That is why Bangladesh’s export earnings from shrimp are currently declining and the new initiative is expected to bring recovery to the industry.