MoALI initiates project to boost hilsa shad production

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Myanmar’s Hilsa shad.

U Nyunt Win, Director of the Development and Research Division of the Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation, has stated a project aimed at conducting research and controlled breeding to sustainably enhance hilsa shad production.
The initiative responds to the realization that Myanmar’s hilsa shad exports constitute only three per cent of aquatic products, the lowest volume among neighbouring countries.
“While Bangladesh and India export hilsa at rates of 65 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively, Myanmar struggles with a mere three per cent export capacity. Rakhine State, contributing only 0.5 per cent, faces particular challenges. Hence, our focus is on fish resource conservation and research activities in the state,” stated U Nyunt Win. The diminished hilsa export is attributed to unregulated fishing practices, including the use of the local Kyarpike fishing method. In response, 11 conservation areas have been established in Rakhine State’s townships, including Myebon and Pauktaw, with research and development efforts initiated since the 2022–2023 financial year.
Hilsa, a prized catch, is mainly harvested in 11 countries globally, with Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar leading the production. Additionally, the species is found in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain. — ASH/TH

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