16 Apr 2020 - Overfishing off the coast of Bangladesh is creating a "fishless" zone in one of the world's largest marine ecosystems, scientists are warning.
Most fish species are in decline, with some nearing extinction, a report on fish stocks in the Bay of Bengal says.
"Some seas in the world, like the Gulf of Thailand, have run out of fish," one of the authors of the report, Sayedur Rahman Chowdhury, told BBC Bengali.
"We don't want our Bay of Bengal to end up like that."
Hundreds of large vessels are overfishing at an unsustainable rate, monitors suggest. Local fishermen say the government is turning a blind eye as the trawlers target key fish species they rely on.
A resource running dry
Bangladesh is one of the most densely-populated countries on Earth, with its population crammed into a delta of rivers that empty into the Bay of Bengal.
At least 1.5m people in the country are dependent on fishing for their livelihoods and fish remains the most important source of animal protein for the population overall.
But a three-year report commissioned by the government shows the largest and most valuable species, like tiger prawns and Indian salmon, are almost completely gone.