Shrimp Culture and Its Impacts

Shrimp Culture and Its Impacts

In Bangladesh, shrimp is the third largest foreign exchange earning commodity, after garment and jute, contributing 9% to national export earnings. Although intensive brackish water shrimp, culture is practiced in south-eastern Bangladesh, there are extensive to semi-intensive culture practices in south-western region. The farmers traditionally culture shrimp and fish, by trapping them in low lying coastal areas with construction of embankments (polder). In recent years, shrimp culture has been extended even to non-poldered areas and to some extent to areas where mangrove forests have been cleared. However, the significance of environmental and social impacts of shrimp culture are poorly understood in Bangladesh. This paper intends to explore the existing situation of shrimp culture and physical, environmental, social and various other consequences.

The human intervention in the form of embankment and intrusion of saline water for shrimp culture can have profound impact on the ecological balance of the south western coastal region of Bangladesh. This may be reflected in the geo-morphological changes, and eutrophication processes, which again have ecological implications. The center to all these implications is, of course, the process of salinization and the movement of saline front.  As such, the nature of shrimp culture can affect the soil characteristics and the current status of agricultural production. So far, the information on soil characteristics collected from the study areas does not allow us to firmly conclude that shrimp culture has a direct bearing on the quality of the soil. In fact if properly managed and leached, the soil condition may not be deteriorated at all. Certainly, the widespread Stalinization can have adverse impacts on the size and quality of grazing grounds for the livestock, the extent of homestead gardening, vegetation, fisheries and poultry rising. This study also confirms some of these adverse impacts. However, these can be minimized if shrimp culture is done in more planned way. 

The objective of this study is to explore the existing situation of shrimp culture and physical, environmental, social and various other consequences. About 64 percent of the beel area is permanently remain under water throughout the year. Cultivable area is the difference between the total catchment and the area permanently flooded. Half of the cultivable area is temporarily flooded, other part remains flood free. Aerial extension of flooded area seems to be lowest in the month of February to April and highest in September and October. It is observed that the seasonal rainfall mainly determines the water level. The water level of the beel starts raising with the rains from July and reaches its maximum level in September and October. The Beel Dakatia area mainly receives water from higher lands within the same catchment, which has significant contribution to the flooding in the lower parts of the area 


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