Environmental Management

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 523–539 | Cite as

Impact of water control projects on fisheries resources in Bangladesh

  • Monirul Qader Mirza
  • Neil J. Ericksen


Bangladesh is a very flat delta built up by the Ganges—Brahmaputra—Meghna/Barak river systems. Because of its geographical location, floods cause huge destruction of lives and properties almost every year. Water control programs have been undertaken to enhance development through mitigating the threat of disasters. This structural approach to flood hazard has severely affected floodplain fisheries that supply the major share of protein to rural Bangladesh, as exemplified by the Chandpur Irrigation Project. Although the regulated environment of the Chandpur project has become favorable for closed-water cultured fish farming, the natural open-water fishery loss has been substantial. Results from research show that fish yields were better under preproject conditions. Under project conditions per capita fish consumption has dropped significantly, and the price of fish has risen beyond the means of the poor people, so that fish protein in the diet of poor people is gradually declining. Bangladesh is planning to expand water control facilities to the remaining flood-prone areas in the next 15–20 years. This will cause further loss of floodplain fisheries. If prices for closed-water fish remain beyond the buying power of the poor, alternative sources of cheap protein will be required.

Key words

Water control Floodplain Fisheries Bangladesh Chandpur 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monirul Qader Mirza
    • 1
  • Neil J. Ericksen
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental and Resource Studies (CEARS)University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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