A survey of the importance of fish disease to 257 farmers from six districts in Bangladesh was carried out during September 1999. The farmers interviewed were selected from a general baseline study of 2,500 farmers who were about to undergo training with the Fisheries Training and Extension Project – Phase II (FTEP-II). FTEP-II is a bilateral aid project between the governments of the United Kingdom (Department for International Development, DFID) and the Department of Fisheries (DoF) of the Government of Bangladesh. The primary stakeholders of the FTEP-II project are poor and carry out “low input, carp polyculture.”
The interviewed farmers were capable of identifying, at most, nine major causes of fish death in their ponds. The most common causes of death were a “red spot” disease referred to as EUS (epizootic ulcerative syndrome), “fin/gill rot,” “air gulping” and “cotton fungus.” No laboratory diagnosis of these diseases was possible. In terms of constraints to production, the majority of farmers did not think that fish disease was important. Rather, they identified issues such as “lack of personal knowledge of fish pond management,” “credit and financial problems” and “fry/fingerling supply” as being more important.