WorldFish Bangladesh opens its first private laboratory for fish and shrimp disease research
FishTech Laboratory, a specialized PCR-based molecular fish laboratory in Khulna, in southern Bangladesh, will support the fish and shrimp industry.
WorldFish Bangladesh, together with Fishtech (BD) Limited, opened the Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (Fishtech Laboratory), a specialized PCR-based molecular fish laboratory in Khulna, in southern Bangladesh, for the commercial fish and shrimp industry. The laboratory was funded by USAID’s Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture Activity and is the first in the country.
The laboratory has already started its functions and aims to increase the production of fish and shrimp farmers and improve the livelihoods of small fish farmers in the southern part of the country. It is equipped with RT-PCR technology to diagnose a total of 11 types of harmful viruses and bacterial diseases in fish and shrimp.
According to the latest Annual Fisheries Statistics 2018-19 survey of Bangladesh, the total amount of fish production was 6,612.84 tons in the entire Khulna district in 2016-17. However, fish farms in Khulna and the southern part of the country are affected by the outbreak of various fish and shrimp diseases. In particular, farmers are losing interest in shrimp farming which is why Bangladesh's export earnings from shrimp are currently declining. As a result, both the institutes took the initiative to set up the Fishtech Laboratory to support all hatcheries, nurseries and pond farmers.
Dr. Shenchang Senapin, lead researcher at the Center for Excellence of Shrimp at Mahidol University in Thailand, is the leading consultant for the laboratory. The coordinator of the project is Mr. Mir Mosharraf Hossain, Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Marine Bioscience of Jessore University of Science and Technology and a renowned researcher in fisheries and shrimp pathology in Bangladesh.