Sea bass cultivation in cages on the Andharmanik river in Patuakhali’s Kalapara upazila.
Photo: Hridoye Mati O Manush

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Sea bass cultivation in cages on the Andharmanik river in Patuakhali’s Kalapara upazila.
Photo: Hridoye Mati O Manush

Coral fish, which is called sea bass in Asia, is also known as barramundi in Australia and Bhetki fish in Bangladesh.

This tasty fish is usually found in the coastal areas of the country.

But nowadays the saltwater fish is being cultivated in freshwater as well.

About 40 years ago, sea bass farming in cages began in the coastal areas as well as different freshwater ponds, rivers and estuaries in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan.

Recently, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) also started an experimental project on coral fish farming in cages in the Andharmanik river in Patuakhali’s Kalapara upazila.

During a recent visit to the project site, I saw six big cages in the river at Khepupara.

Senior Scientific Officer Abhijit Basu said coral fish are being farmed in different densities in each cage. The density, at which the fish will grow perfectly, will be considered ideal.

April to August is the main breeding period for sea bass.

Sea bass is very nutritious and contains high-quality omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which boost our body’s immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease and help control blood pressure.

They are rich in vitamins A, B, D and calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium and selenium.

BFRI has already made it possible to produce coral fish fingerlings through artificial breeding.

Corals have high reproductive capacity and can produce up to 70 lakh (7 million) eggs per year.

BFRI’s Director General Yahia Mahmud said caged coral fish farming in coastal rivers can be expanded as part of the blue economy.

Coral fish has a great demand both at home and abroad due to its taste and fewer bones.

Even three years back, coral fish barbecue was available at many food shops at the 300-feet area of Dhaka.

Expanding the coral fish farms can provide a sustainable blue economy and more employment opportunities in future. I believe sea bass farming will soon become popular across the country.



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