Fisheries and the aquaculture sector can play a significant role in the achievement of several of the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda. However, the current COVID-19 situation can negatively impact the fisheries sector, impeding the pace of the achievement of development goals. Therefore, this paper highlighted the performance and challenges of the fisheries sector in Bangladesh, emphasising the impact of COVID-19 and the significance of this sector for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through primary fieldwork and secondary data. The total fish production in the country has increased more than six times over the last three decades (7.54 to 43.84 lakh MT) with improved culture techniques and extension services. Inland closed water contributions have increased to 16%, while inland open water has declined to 10%, and marine fisheries have dropped to 6% over the past 18 financial years (2000–2001 to 2018–2019). COVID-19, a significant health crisis, has also affected various issues associated with aquatic resources and communities. Transportation obstacles and complexity in the food supply, difficulty in starting production, labour crisis, sudden illness, insufficient consumer demand, commodity price hikes, creditor’s pressure, and reduced income were identified as COVID-19 drivers affecting the fisheries sector. The combined effect of these drivers poses a significant threat to a number of the SDGs, such as income (SDG1), nutrition (SDG2), and food security (SDG3 and SDG12), which require immediate and comprehensive action. Several recommendations were discussed, the implementation of which are important to the achievement of the SDGs and the improved management of the aquatic sector (SDG14—life below, and SDG16—life above water).


  • 50 in-depth tete-a-tete interviews were conducted with the aquaculture, fisheries, and coastal communities, hatcheries and fish production farmers to assess the impact of the pandemic on the fisheries sector

  • Secondary data on the COVID-19 pandemic was collected from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Institute of Epidemiology and Disease Control and Research (IEDCR)

  • Bangladesh is blessed with substantial open water resources (SDG 14: life below water), only 28% of fish production derives from closed inland waters

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Bangladesh, a nation blessed with diverse aquatic resources, is located in Southeast. This research aimed to highlight the potential and challenges of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Bangladesh by bridging the gap of the existing situation (e.g., provide an update on the status of the sector, the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the aquatic resource system, and the involved stakeholders and dependent community). This attempt reflected this sector’s potential linkage and significance for achieving several SDGs in Bangladesh because of the COVID19 pandemic. This study recommends plans and policies to aid in the recovery of the fisheries sector following the COVID-19 pandemic and analogous inversion in the future

Empirical Primary Data Collection
In-Depth Tete-a-Tete Interviews
Key Informant Interviews
Focus Group Discussion
Secondary Data Gathering
Data Analysis
Inland Open Water Fish Production in Bangladesh
Marine Fisheries Production in Bangladesh
Fish Production Trends in Bangladesh from 1983–1984 to 2017–2018
Export of Fish and Fishery Products
Fisher’s Livelihood and Vulnerabilities
14 March shut down educational educational on institutions
April sevenof days of controlled movement imposed all over country
Perceived Impacts of COVID-19 on the Fisheries Sectors
Fish Farmers
Prospects of Inland Closed Water
Prospects of Inland Open Water
Blue Economy
Biotechnology and Marine Genetic Resource
10. Challenges of Fisheries and COVID-19 Nexus to Achieve SGDs and Recovery Plans
10.1. Need for Emergency Financial and Non-Financial Support
10.2. Building Resilient Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector
10.3. Addressing Potential Threats in Aquatic Biodiversity
10.4. Integrating Climate Change Risks with the Responses of COVID-19
10.5. Initiatives to Address the Risk of Orders Cancellation by Foreign Buyers
10.6. Developing Long-Term Strategies
11. Conclusions and Recommendations

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