The Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) has set up a modern crab hatchery in Paikgachha upazila of Khulna district, reports UNB.
According to fisheries officials, the BFRI-established modern hatchery has opened up a new door of prospect for flourishing the crab industry.
The hatchery has been built at a cost of Tk 11.9 million (Tk 1.18 crore) at the Institute's Saltwater Centre as a part of crab farming and research project (Component - B, BFRI), aiming to produce crab fry.
Among the exportable fish resources, crab stands second after shrimp. A total of four species of sweet water crabs and another 12 species of saltwater crabs are now exported to many Asian countries, including Malaysia and Singapore, and European markets, officials said.
Bangladesh exported crabs worth $23.82 million in 2015-16, which was $7.2 million in 2010-11, according to the Export Promotion Bureau.
Crab farming has been on the rise in the southern coastal districts, including Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira due to its high demand in the global market.
The farming and fattening of crabs in coastal areas started in the 80s. But, 100 per cent of crabs are now collected from natural sources which may affect the biodiversity, said fisheries officials.
The hatchery has been set up so that farmers can get crab fry and boost farming for export as its local demand is low, they said.
The BFRI has already developed techniques of producing crab fry artificially.
Project Director of Kuchia crab farming and research Dr Durin Aktar Jahan said that BFRI has already invented the way of producing crab fry.
"The availability of fry will boost crab farming and reduce dependence on natural sources," Aktar Jahan said.
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