Shrimp Culture: Trend, Consequences and Sustainability in the South-western Coastal Region of Bangladesh

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Shrimp culture along the coast of southwest Bangladesh was a traditional practice and usually restricted within land between the levees and the river channels (Deb, 1998; Islam et al., 2005; Nandy et al., 2007). However, since early seventies of the last century farmers and investors are encouraged to involve most in shrimp farming within polders—large areas within coastal embankments meant for protecting crop lands from tidal waves, surges and saline intrusion—in response to the demand from international high value customers for shrimp (a luxury food item), low investment and unexpectedly high return where government policies played a favourable role (Alauddin and Tisdel, 1998) and thus ushered the beginning of present shrimp era (BCAS, 2001). Outbreak of disease was a major hindrance for shrimp culture (Alam et al., 2007) and during 1996 Khulna region experienced such impact on approximately 90% of its extensive shrimp farms with a loss of 20% in total shrimp production (Chowdhury and Muniruzzaman, 2003).