Fish fauna of the Brahmaputra River, Bangladesh: richness, threats and conservation needs

  • Shams Muhammad Galib Aquatic Biodiversity Lab, Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh
Keywords: Brahmaputra River, conservation, fish fauna, population trend, freshwater


The Brahmaputra River is one of the largest rivers in the world as well as in Bangladesh. The present study was carried out for a period of one year from January to December 2013 with a view to assessing the availability of fishes in the river with species emphasis on species richness, existing threats and conservation issues. Daytime and night sampling were carried out in three sites located along the upstream to downstream course of the river on a monthly basis. Three fishing gears including cast net, seine net and drag net and one fishing trap were employed to collect fishes. A total of 67 finfish species including 63 indigenous and 4 exotic/alien species have been recorded belonging to 46 genera, 24 families and 8 orders. Cypriniformes and Cyprinidae were the most dominating order (21 species) family (15 species) of native fishes. A small portion (2%) of native fishes was globally threatened. Over one third of total species (38%) were considered threatened to extinct species in Bangladesh. Population trend of over two third of total fish species was Declining in the river. Major threats were alien/invasive species, banned fishing gears and loss of habitats.


Ahmed KM (2015) Brahmaputra River, Banglapedia- National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Retrieved on 27 February 2015. URL:

Baruah S and Biswas SP (2002) Ecohydrology and fisheries of the upper Brahmaputra basin. The Environmentalist 22: 119-131.

Bhuiyan AL (1964) Fishes of Dacca. Asiatic Society of Pakistan, Dacca. 148 pp.

Chaki N, Jahan S, Fahad MFH, Galib SM and Mohsin ABM (2014) Environment and fish fauna of the Atrai River: global and local conservation perspective. Journal of Fisheries 2(3): 163-172. DOI: 10.17017/jfish.v2i3. 2014.46

DoF (2015) National Fish Week 2015 Compendium. Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh. 148 pp.

Froese R and Pauly D (Eds) (2015) List of Freshwater Fishes reported from Bangladesh. FishBase,

World Wide Web electronic publication., version (10/2015).

FRSS (Fisheries Resource Survey System) (2009) Fisheries Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh 2007-2008, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Bangladesh. 42 pp.

Galib SM and Mohsin ABM (2010) Exotic ornamental fishes of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Progressive Science and Technology 8(2): 255-258.

Galib SM and Mohsin ABM (2011) Cultured and Ornamental Exotic Fishes of Bangladesh: Past and Present LAP-Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany. 167 pp.

Galib SM, Naser SMA, Mohsin ABM, Chaki N and Fahad MFH (2013) Fish diversity of the River Choto Jamuna, Bangladesh: Present status and conservation needs. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 5(6): 389-395. DOI: 10.5897/IJBC2013. 0552

Galib SM, Samad MA, Kamal MM, Haque MA and Hasan MM (2009b) A Study on Fishing Gears and Methods in the Chalan Beel of North-West Bangladesh. Journal of Environmental Science & Natural Resources 2(2): 213-218.

Galib SM, Samad MA, Mohsin ABM, Flowra FA and Alam MT (2009a) Present Status of Fishes in the Chalan Beel- the Largest Beel (Wetland) of Bangladesh. International Journal of Animal and Fisheries Science 2(3): 214-218.

Hossain MAR (2014) Habitat and fish diversity: Bangladesh perspective, pp 1-26. In: Wahab MA, Shah MS, Hossain MAR, Barman BK and Hoq ME (eds.), Advances in Fisheries Research in Bangladesh: I. Proc. of 5th Fisheries Conference & Research Fair 2012. 18-19 January 2012, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Forum, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 246 pp.

Imteazzaman AM and Galib SM (2013) Fish Fauna of Halti Beel, Bangladesh. International Journal of Current Research 5(1): 187-190.

IUCN (2015) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-3. . Downloaded on 02 August 2015.

IUCN Bangladesh (2000) Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh. IUCN- The world conservation Union. 116 pp.

Joadder MAR, Galib SM, Haque SMM and Chaki N (2015) Fishes of the river Padma, Bangladesh: Current trend and conservation status. Journal of Fisheries 3(2): 259-266. DOI: 10.17017/jfish.v3i2.2015.111

Khaleque MA (2002) A book on fish culture and management of exotic fishes. Published by Jusi MB, Pallabi, Mymensingh, Bangladesh (in Bengali). 93 pp.

Mohsin ABM, Haque SMM, Galib SM, Fahad MFH, Chaki N, Islam MN and Rahman MM (2013) Seasonal abundance of fin fishes in the Padma River at Rajshahi district, Bangladesh. World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences 5(6): 680-685. DOI: 10.5829/idosi.wjfms.2013.05.05.75109

Mohsin ABM, Hasan MM and Galib SM (2009) Fish diversity of community based fisheries managed oxbow lake (Bookbhara Baor) in Jessore, Bangladesh. Journal of Science Foundation 7(1): 121-125.

Mohsin ABM, Yeasmin F, Galib SM, Alam B and Haque SMM (2014) Fish fauna of the Andharmanik River in Patuakhali, Bangladesh. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research 21(5): 802-807. DOI: 10.5829/ idosi.mejsr.2014.21.05.8415

Nelson JS (2006) Fishes of the World, fourth edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater fishes of Bangladesh, first edition. Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh. 364 pp.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh. 263 pp.

Rahman AKA (2007) Exotic fishes and their impact on environment, 16th Annual General Meeting and Conference 2007. Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 26-39.

Samad MA, Asaduzzaman M, Galib SM, Kamal MM and Haque MR (2010) Availability and Consumer Preference of Small Indigenous Species (SIS) of the River Padma at Rajshahi, Bangladesh. International Journal of BioResearch 1(5): 27-31.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) In land fishes of India and adjacent countries, Vol. 1 and 2. Oxford & IBH Publishing Company Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, India. 1158 pp.

How to Cite
Galib, S. M. (2015). Fish fauna of the Brahmaputra River, Bangladesh: richness, threats and conservation needs. Journal of Fisheries, 3(3), 285-292.