This paper presents a comparative analysis of the technical and economic parameters of two community led approaches: the semi-closed water bodies and the floodplain water bodies based systems in Bangladesh. The two approaches differ in management, fish production, impact on biodiversity, capital investment and annual variable costs, share of profits and proportional benefits for the poor, and impact on allied businesses—the so-called backward and forward linkages. For the semi-closed water bodies (beels) the fish harvest increased from an annual average of 380 kg ha−1 in 2002 to 921 kg ha−1 by 2005. During the same period, the biodiversity measured for self-recruiting indigenous species, using the Shannon-Weiner Index (H′), increased significantly (P<0.05) from 2.24 in 2002 to 2.56 in 2005. For the floodplain aquaculture system (Pankowri or Daudkandi model) annual fish production ranged from 1.5 to 1.8 t ha−1. Annual net economic benefit per hectare was found to be Taka 37,710±24,600 and 26,819±10,780 for semi-closed and floodplain systems respectively. The net income per kg of product was found to be Taka 44.0±9.0 and 13.0±3.0 for semi-closed and floodplain systems, respectively. The floodplain system tends to use comparatively more feed and fertilizers per unit area that pond-based aquaculture.

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