Understanding the Relationship between Aquaculture and Poverty: The Case of Gurudaspur, Natore
Saman Saad, Raisa Bashar, Farah Yeasmin and Nazmul Ahsan Khan
American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Aquaculture is perceived as a source of income and economic raise in several small towns and villages of Bangladesh and Gurudaspur of Natore region is no different. From the 1990s onward it brought about a great economic boost. However, in the last decade and at present, several negative externalities of this practice have started to surface, including severe water-logging (after flooding), depletion of water resources and economic losses. These issues can be attributed to unplanned fish pond-cutting and unrestricted entry into the aquaculture business. Based on this background, this study tried to capture the change in the economic condition of people associated with small-scale aquaculture, through focused group discussions, participatory rural appraisal and individual interviews, with the owners and workers about their past and present incomes, before and after they started fish-farming, in two villages of Gurudaspur, namely Brigarila and Moharajpur. Additionally, basic GIS analysis was performed to analyze the changes in land use patterns and their impacts on the surroundings. The authors’ observations about the present status of the owners of the fish-farms were also noted, along with some recommendations based on the local governments’ advice and initiatives to stop new pond-cutting (which is not seeing much success). There is no doubt that even though aquaculture in Gurudaspur saw a positive inception, its progression was flawed and, consequently, the mentioned problems are becoming bigger as days go by. Although, Moharajpur’s water-logging problem (some of which still exists because much needed canal building is ongoing) is not that severe (due to higher years of experience and hence more development in this sector), Hence, Brigarila’s condition is already very dire and worsening day by day. It is the conclusion of the authors that Gurudaspur’s aquaculture practices are unplanned and hence, unsustainable and will soon not yield any more profits, leaving several hundred in an economic downturn, if proper drainage systems and laws are not implemented, coupled with relevant training and education.
© 2018 Saman Saad, Raisa Bashar, Farah Yeasmin and Nazmul Ahsan Khan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.