Diversity assemblages of fish genetic resources and conservation necessities in Hakaluki Haor, an ecologically sensitive natural wetland in north-eastern Bangladesh

Md. Saiful Islam, Syed Ariful Haque, Md. Fakhrul Islam, Md. Mokhlasur Rahman, Mizanur Rahman, Partha Sarathi Das, Mithun Karmakar


A comprehensive study was undertaken to evaluate the existing fisheries resources and biodiversity of an ecologically critical wetland ecosystem in Bangladesh, the Hakaluki Haor. Data were collected from 100 personnel using participatory rural appraisal tools including Focus Group Discussion (FGD), questionnaire surveys of different stakeholders and spot visit to local fish markets in haor area covering two Sub-districts viz. Kulaura and Barlekha of Moulvibazar district. A total of 57 fish species belonging to 42 genera, 23 families and 7 taxonomic orders were reported by the local fishermen; of which 35.08% were Cypriniformes, followed by Perciformes (26.31%), Siluriformes (21.05%), Synbranchiformes (7.01%), Clupeiformes (5.26%), Osteoglossiformes (3.50%) and Anguiliiformes (1.75%). Further, among the identified taxa 15.78% fish species were reported as Commonly Available Species (CAS), while Moderately (MAS), Less (LAS) and Rarely Available Species (RAS) were accounted for 26.31, 36.84 and 21.05% respectively. Besides, 22.80% of the total species have been found Threatened. In addition, our study noted around 30 different types fishing gears used by local fishers. According to the report of the fisher groups, inefficient management and policy implications, non-compliance to fisheries laws, extreme climatic events, siltation and transformation to agricultural lands, poor awareness and shortage of alternate income generating sources are the major factors responsible for declining fish species diversity in Hakaluki Haor. The overall findings of the study is extremely alarming for fish biological diversity of this wetland. All the stakeholders interviewed highly recommended to strengthen integrated wetland management practices for restoring threatened natural ecosystem and conserving fish biodiversity at Hakaluki Haor wetland.

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