Environmental Impacts of Commercial Shrimp
Farming in Coastal Zone of Bangladesh and
Approaches for Sustainable Management
Shahriar abdullah*, Dhrubo Barua and Md Sazzad Hossain
Department of Environmental Science and Disaster Management, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh
Submission: June 01, 2019; Published: July 15, 2019
*Corresponding author: Shahriar Abdullah, Department of Environmental Science and Disaster Management, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh
How to cite this article: Shahriar abdullah, Dhrubo B, Md Sazzad H. Environmental Impacts of Commercial Shrimp Farming in Coastal Zone of Bangladesh and Approaches for Sustainable Management. Int J Environ Sci Nat Res. 2019; 20(3): 556038. DOI:10.19080/IJESNR.2019.20.556038
Shrimp cultivating in Bangladesh has been accelerated quickly following huge demand in the global market. Since the mid-1980s, shrimp is a significant part of the economy of Bangladesh. This practice is growing in Bangladesh because of favorable agro-climatic conditions, sufficient water resources, cheap labor, and international donor agencies. Despite a range positive factor like foreign exchange, employment and food, the industry has terrible environmental impacts. This spontaneous and indiscriminate shrimp cultivating is gathering impressive discourse because of its negative ecological results. Environmental effects like mangrove destruction, sedimentation, saltwater interruption, loss of biodiversity and contamination are seen to be the key obstructions for the advancement of sustainable shrimp cultivating. A large number of sections of land of terrains in the seaside territories have been included under shrimp cultivation. Unplanned and haphazard growth of shrimp culture has an influence on the coastal ecosystem. This paper has the aim to focus on how the shrimp farming in Bangladesh is affecting the soil, water, crop production, the mangroves, and the coastal biodiversity. This paper has intended to concentrate on how the shrimp cultivating in Bangladesh is influencing the water, soil, crop production, mangroves, and the coastal biodiversity.
Shrimp cultivating is one of the snappiest developing financial exercises in coastal zones of the Asia-Pacific locales, contributing more prominent than 85% of world’s cultivated shrimp, where Bangladesh is the fifth biggest maker on the planet . Because of the positive atmosphere and accessibility of room, shrimp aquaculture has grown for the most part in tropical and subtropical coastal lowlands. It is the third biggest remote exchange winning product of Bangladesh, after garment and jute, shrimp contributing 9% to countrywide fare benefits . These days, shrimp is the second most significant fare things in Bangladesh. Accordingly, shrimp cultivating ended up one of the key monetary exercises in various seaside areas. It is much of the time named as ‘blue revolution’ . The crucial shrimp-creating regions are Bagerhat, Satkhira, Pirojpur, Khulan, Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong . As per the actualities from the Department of Fisheries of Bangladesh , the exported amount of solidified shrimp was once 15,023 tons in 1988, which was multiple times higher (47,879.91 tons) in 2011. Ongoing figures prescribe that around 15 million individuals in Bangladesh are straightforwardly or in a roundabout way depend on the shrimp and prawn cultivating .
Aquaculture is one amongst the quickest growing animal food-producing sectors around the world, with yearly increment averaging 6.1 % for 2002-2012 [7,8]. Aquaculture presently accounts for pretty much 50% of the world’s sustenance fish . Aquaculture practice for food fish in Asian country is shown within the Figure 1.
The territory utilized for shrimp cultivation in Bangladesh has
raised from around 20,000 ha in 1980 to just about 244,000ha in
2014 . The 2 shrimp species: Penaeus monodon (black tiger
shrimp; native name: Bagda) and Macrobrachium rosenbergii
(freshwater prawn; native name: Golda), are named ‘’white gold’’
because of the fact of their excessive cost .
This indiscriminate and impromptu system of shrimp
cultivating has harming outcomes each on environment and
society . The negative effects of shrimp cultivating have
emerged from a lack of common sense and management
practices, also as a weak application of these laws. Objections
are normally related with environmental consequences (loss
of mangroves and its related biodiversity, disintegration of soil
and water quality, loss of agro-biodiversity and fish, saltwater
interruption, diminish in neighborhood assortment of rice
and fish, disease outbreak and pollution), social clashes, and
negative impact on the economic system due to decline land
for crop production [13,14]. Shrimp cultivating development
in Bangladesh is commonly unregulated, uncontrolled and
This paper, principally based on basically secondary
published literature, reviews the development, manufacturing
patterns, function and culture examples of shrimp cultivating
coastal zone of Bangladesh. The foremost expectation of the
diagram is to give a firm establishment to propelling aptitude
on the ecological effects of shrimp cultivating. At long last, this
review will prompt an observational practicality investigation
of the management approach for sustainable shrimp cultivating
in Bangladesh, recent technologies to mitigate impacts, for
desirable management of the coastal region and sustainable
shrimp cultivation in Bangladesh.
For a long time, the people of Bangladesh (once area of
Bengal in pre-parcel India and of Bangladesh from 1947 to
1971) include connected inside the vast water catch of inland
and marine finfish and the cultivation in perennial and seasonal
tanks and lakes . By 1940 the government of Bengal had made
proposals to improve the shut way of life fisheries, comprising
of shrimp, and there will not to be a local trade in open catch
shrimp from coastal estuaries with Myanmar and East Bengal.
By 1945 broil and produce were raised by government exports
available authorities for sale . The Pakistan Government
paid constrained interest to shrimp manufacturing in the course
of the 1950s, however, two factories had been set up in 1954
to export frozen and canned shrimp to the USA and Western
Europe and in 1959 the first shrimp and fish processing and
freezing plant was installed. By 1970, there were five fish
canning plants in Chittagong engaged in the freezing of prawn
and frog legs . By the mid-1960s, wild shrimp (22 species)
are being sold for the domestic market both fresh and preserved
by boiling and sun-drying and smoking . During the 1970s,
shrimp aquaculture in Bangladesh was begun in ghers (pond)
. However, this framework has developed over time.
Within the coastal zones of Bangladesh, Shrimp aquaculture
has risen from the south-eastern towards the south-western
parts. At first, the pond vicinity under shrimp aquaculture
included 20,000 ha in 1980, developing quickly to around
217,877 ha in 2007/08 . Export of shrimps between 1995
and 1996 fiscal year earned US$ 270 million. Somewhere in the
range of 2010 and 2011, the amount raised up to US $449.56
million . Two zones in the south, the Chittagong–Cox’s Bazar
belt and Khulna, Satkhira-Bagerhat belt, represent 95% of the
complete area of shrimp culture in the country . Yearly
shrimp production in tons and percentage of cultured shrimp
contribution of shrimp aquaculture in Bangladesh (1998–
1999 to 2007–2008) are appeared in Figure 2. Total shrimp
manufacturing takes place from three sources; inland capture,
inland culture, and marine fisheries.
(Figure 3) Bangladeshi shrimp development is frequently
classified into 4 classifications: traditional, extensive, semiintensive
and intensive based on the intensity of the culture
pattern like stocking density, inputs (feed, fertilizer), seed
supply, range of species, production cost and water exceptional management [12,27]. In Bangladesh, 70% of the shrimp farms
use typical and/or intensive, 25% semi-intensive, and 5%
intensive culture methods .
Various chronological historic exercises had been identified
with the development of industrial shrimp cultivating in
Bangladesh as a result of developing a worldwide interest
of shrimp items, the industry was expanding incredibly in a
haphazard manner. Following sections provide an explanation
for the principal factors responsible for emergence of industrial
shrimp farming in Bangladesh.
a) Suitable biological and climatic conditions of coastal
b) Price rise in the worldwide market .
c) Response to global demand .
d) The accessibility of resources, for example, feed, seed,
water, and shoddy work power .
e) Cheap land and labor .
f) Victim of a “Green Revolution” .
g) Availability of shrimp fry .
h) Increased funds from international donors .
The rapid increase of shrimp cultivating has prompted both
short and long-term terrible environmental impacts, counting
biological imbalance, environmental contamination and disease
spread. This has furthermore caused a steady decrease in other
agricultural and homestead crops, several fruit and woody
trees, and homestead vegetables . These bad outcomes, in
the end, accelerate the changes in both aquatic and terrestrial
environment, biodiversity and biological systems. Thus, shrimp
cultivating is facing the management related challenges which
lead to more noteworthy worries about water quality, feed, and
seed supply (Table 1).
The unplanned and unregulated shrimp farming ultimately
gave rise to numerous socio-economic and ecological impacts. A
few instances are cited below:
From historical records, it is evaluated that over half of
the world’s original mangrove cover has been destroyed .
Mangrove destruction in the world is caused by means of two
factors: aquaculture and horticultural development as well as
industrial and settlement improvement . Quite a bit of this
destruction has occurred in current decades . Bangladesh
has the world’s biggest mangrove (locally referred to as
Sunderban, meaning beautiful forest) in the south-west shore
of the country. The mangroves are exceptionally wealthy in
biotic variety supporting around 330 types of plants, 400 types
of fishes, around 40 types of shrimps and various shellfish, and
35 types of reptiles . It plays a significant function in the
coastal ecology serving as a nursery ground for marine fisheries,
defending coastal shores from erosion and storm damage .
But several shrimp ponds have been developed close by the
fringe of Sundarbans mangrove. Shrimp culture is nowadays
regarded as the silent destroyer of mangrove round the world,
between 30% and 70% of the mangrove region has been lost due
to shrimp farming .
The definite rate of mangrove destruction in light of the
constructing of ponds within the south-western parts of
Bangladesh is not yet familiar. In any case, in the south-eastern
parts of Bangladesh, an area of 18,200 ha of mangrove (Chakaria
Sundarbans) has almost totally been destroyed to make room for
shrimp aquaculture . The find out about of Shahid and Islam
revealed that about 9,734ha of mangrove have been lost in the
southeastern part could be directly attributed to shrimp culture . Without considering these irreversible long long-term
effects on the coastal ecology, huge annihilation of mangrove
has been carried out in Bangladesh for the sake of the progress
of shrimp culture [44,45]. A present report by Swapan & Gavin
(2011) in southwestern Bangladesh observed that the shrimp
cultivating had changed almost 90% of agricultural land and
mangroves into shrimp farms .
Mangrove removal might also cause coastal erosion,
alterations in sedimentation patterns and shoreline
configuration. However, shrimp aquaculture is not the only
reason for mangrove degradation; other land uses, for example,
rice production and salt manufacturing have also played a
widespread function in the destruction of mangrove forests in
The demonstration of transporting shrimp seeds from various
geographic territories has brought about the introduction of five
of the six perceived penaeid shrimp infections. The bringing
in of shrimp seeds without isolation has spread different viral
and contagious maladies all through Bangladesh . Shrimp
cultivation farms in Bangladesh stock wild-caught juveniles
instead of hatchery-reared post larvae that result in loss of
biodiversity. Although hatchery post-larvae are now handy in
many countries in Asia and Latin America, wild fry still provides
the key supply of seed in others. Trawl fishermen collect mother
shrimps as brood stock from the deep ocean that performs a
principal function in the loss of fisheries . When the shrimp
industry uses maritime fish as trash fish to create fish meal, and
eventually to produce pellet feed, it diminishes the wild fishery
resources . Catches of wild shrimp in both open sea and
coastal ecosystems have declined because of overexploitation
and contamination in the coastal region .
The low-quality feed is the major pollution source of the
shrimp cultivating and its adjoining waters . Effluents
from shrimp ponds are typically enriched in suspended solids;
nutrients like ammonia, nitrate, nitrite; chlorophyll and
biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) [50,51]. Organic trashes
from fish or shellfish farming incorporate leftover food, body
wastes and dead fish. Nutrient pollution has additionally been
found to originate the amplified growth of certain species
of phytoplankton, with some that are recognized to cause
unfavorable algal blooms and increase fouling. Intensive
shrimp farming needs a consistent change of water, about
5-10% of the whole pond extent per day during earlier, and
30-40% throughout later stages of the growth period . The
discharging effluents can decrease the dissolved oxygen, create
hypernutrification and eutrophication, increase sedimentation
load, and cause modifications in the benthic communities .
Water runoff all through the rainy season comprises of
sediments from upstream through river tributaries to coastal
areas . Once water from estuaries or river channels is
stored in shrimp ghers or ponds, the sediments quickly settle
on the bottom as water velocity slows down . Management
practices, which incorporate high stocking density, feed
application, aerator use, liming and composts, and so on, also
add to suspension and sediment accumulation . The pond
bottom accumulates excessive organic substances like nutrients
(nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia) and hydrogen sulfide that
creates foul odors, hypernutrification and eutrophication .
Shrimp farming increments suspended solids or colloids that
produce turbidity, decreases daylight penetration into the water
segment. Turbidity is reported at 23% to intensive farms and at
39% semi-intensive farms in Bangladesh  (Figure 4).
The effect of the unregulated growth in shrimp farming
on whole ecosystems is not confined to mangroves. In the
southwestern parts of Bangladesh, salinization lessens water
supplies for shrimp farming as well as for drinking, household
wants and irrigation [3,57]. Shrimp cultivation has raised
serious subject regarding the impact of seawater intrusion into
the surrounding agricultural lands [53,58]. Ponds are being
built for shrimp cultivation behind mangrove forests wherever
freshwater wetlands and rice-growing areas still exist [52,58].
Saltwater intrusion has brought on issues in terms of severely
reduced supplies of potable freshwater, which again has led to extend of waterway contaminations as well as the loss of various
crops, poultry, and fodders . There the freshwater wetlands
and rice-growing areas are affected by surface and subsurface
saltwater intrusion generated by the new ponds .
Intensive farming makes the shrimps exceptionally liable
to diseases . Some number of the diseases that trouble the
shrimp farming business area unit straightforwardly caused
by environmental issues. Bangladesh has experienced disease
outbreak in each semi-intensive and extensive farm in 1996
. when physicochemical factors like pH scale, temperature,
dissolved oxygen, pH scale, etc. vary every now and again,
shrimps become vulnerable to stress, bringing about diseases
 like red color, soft shell, tail rot and black gill [60,61]. High
stocking density and excessive use of feed lower water quality
that contributes to fret and diseases among shrimp in intensive
farming systems. In 1996, Bangladesh lost 44.4% of its complete
shrimp production due to White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV)
Shrimp aquaculture in Bangladesh depends intensely on the
input of artificially formulated feed and the application of the
disinfectants, water, and soil treatment components, algicides,
and pesticides, and feed added substances. These items are much
of the time utilized in shrimp ponds to treat water and dregs
sediment as well as to prevent disease and sanitize hardware.
Prefuran, the manufactured specialists frequently utilized as
anti-infection agents in incubation centers are chloramphenicol,
erythromycin, oxytetracycline, Furazolidone . A few
synthetics utilized in shrimp cultivating, as organotin mixes,
copper mixes, and toxic residues, are probably going to badly
affect the environment . The typically used disinfectant
chlorine is applied to kill microorganisms. Further pesticides
are applied in shrimp ponds to kill unwanted organisms like fish,
crustaceans, snails, fungi, and algae . As pond management
is becoming tougher over the course of time, the utilization of
chemicals is gradually increasing.
Shrimp farming affects soil and water quality in the cultivated
land. The release of saline water from shrimp ponds additionally
increases the salinity in neighboring agricultural lands . The
southwestern Bangladesh the mean values of water salinity at
the low, medium and high saline zones were 1.2 and 1.64, 4.25
and 5.14, 9.75 and 9.17ppt, respectively . The central snag to
strengthening of harvest generation is regularly high substance
of salts in the root area of the soil. Prolonged inundation inhibits
the fixation of free nitrogen and halts mineralization, therefore
impairing soil fertility . The flow of excessive saline water
usually enters into the plants by osmosis. Consequently, the
plants have been suffered from starvation of water and created
physiological drought conditions [67,68].
The procedure of shrimp farming in southwestern Bangladesh
used to pulverize the natural environment, ecosystems and social
frameworks [69,70]. Aquaculture production of shrimp becomes
the foremost relentless destroyer of massive areas of tropical
wetlands. Variety of shrimp ponds developed alongside the
periphery for catching shrimp fry shrinks the reserve location
of the mangrove forest ‘Sundarbans.’ The severe fishing strain
grasps shrimp fries as well as other vital revering species that
spawn within the coastal regions. It destroys the environment of
the coastal ecosystems as well  (Figure 5).
Regarding cost selected per hector, well-managed shrimp
farming is the most profitable sort of land use within the coastal
zones of Bangladesh. Overall, it has furnished the country with
an essential possibility for monetary improvement at the macrolevel.
However, that does not legitimize the environmental
and socio-economic charges within the long-term. Toufique
 Mentioned three totally different perspectives identifying
with the appropriate response of this complicated problem
. These are pessimistic, optimistic and a reformist view.
Pessimistic view: Shrimp cultivating is unsustainable because of
the negative externalities are precise, endemic, and irreversible.
Therefore, shrimp farming has got to be prohibited. Optimistic
view: Shrimp generates a financial gain, employment, and overseas trade accordingly the advantages exceed the associated
costs. Reformist view: There are negative environmental and
social externalities. However, that can be dealt with via policy
intervention. This is often a moderate view making an endeavor
to limit the considerations.
At the national policy level of Bangladesh, the typical
perception is that shrimp farming is not any more drawn out
the fundamental reason for ecological degradation. It is the
haphazard and impromptu methodology of shrimp farming that
is more accountable for environmental and social degradation
of the coastal community . In the coastal Zone Policy of
2005, the policy framework mentioned that the authorities will
take positive measures to comprehend the targets of poverty
reduction through rising economic growth within the coastal
zone in such manner ‘accessible potentialities of the coastal area
are going to be used via sustainable management by means of
investment in shrimp culture’ . Therefore, the authorities of
Bangladesh will not keep the intense views that shrimp farming
can persist unabated (optimistic view) or ought to be halted in
places (pessimistic view). Rather sustainable management for
shrimp farming has been motivated to decrease environmental
losses and its social impacts, mirroring the reformist view.
Such a view needs a radical analysis of the current restrictive
and institutional framework to make sure sustainable shrimp
farming within the country .
In sequence for aquaculture strategy to shift inside the
heading of sustainable yield, the industry needs few conditions
to grasp and tackle the complete spectrum of environmental
effects realized by its operations. Consecutively, this infers
shifting near closed production frameworks. Potential answers
for the challenges of aquaculture on the environment will be:
a) Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) - within
which organic remaining items from the farmed species
(finfish or shrimp) are exercised as supplements or
nourishment by means that of various cultivated species.
b) Aquaponics - within which effluent remaining for
fish farming are exercised as a nutrient supply for growing
vegetables, herbs and/or flowers.
c) Lessening alimentation will drop expenses of food,
condense nutrient accumulation and aid in conserving
obligatory Dissolved oxygen ranges and increase herbivore
d) Closed loop/ Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)
can discourse water require, drain pollution and should
utilize remarkable and multifaceted filtration systems.
e) Overstocking got to be alluded to lessen stress, decrease
disease/pathogen outbreak, and lessen antibiotic usage, sell
and purchase nearby, reduce transport footprint.
f) Stock local species together with Organic aquaculture
and ideal drainage facilities.
g) Producing quality seeds and supplying best feed at a
h) Improve transportation facilities and a decrease in the
use of chemotherapeutics.
i) Ensure top quality raw materials whereas
manufacturing meshed feed.
Bangladesh has tremendous coastal and marine sources
alongside its south edge. The coastal place of the country is
perceived as one of the incredibly productive areas of the world.
This is because of the reality of the geological position and
climatic circumstance of the region. However, impromptu and
unregulated coastal shrimp farming has emerged as the most
unfavorable structure of resource use over the past couple of
decades in Bangladesh. Once its environmental and social issues
are considered, shrimp cultivating has not raised the farmers’
expectation for everyday comforts. Though it’s created temporary
employment opportunities, the cost of destruction is a lot more
than these advantages. Impromptu shrimp cultivating has
various ecological punishments like high salinity in soils, soil and
pollution and disease outbreak, public health hazard, mangroves
destruction, loss of diverseness and nearby environmental
modification. Resources such as feed, seed, and water supply
influence the sustainability of shrimp aquaculture. Shrimp
cultivating is anticipated to proceed with its extension with new
domains being focused as old ones are depleted. In any case,
it’s anything but a maintainable sort of aquaculture. However,
it is not a sustainable kind of aquaculture. A sustainability
concept for an eco-friendly and socially appropriate farming
and management system ought to be developed around the
world to make sure the future. The long-haul advantages of
shrimp cultivating can exclusively be performed by means of
the improvement of ecologically reasonable shrimp cultivating.
This will handle the ecological and financial issues produced by
the method for shrimp cultivating and guarantee the survival of
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