What are SIS?
According to Rahman (1989), there are 260 species of freshwater indigenous fish in Bangladesh. In the past, most of these
have been classified as small and of little commercial or economic value (Ali, 1997). One source groups them together as
"miscellaneous species of fish and prawn", describing them as "poor people's fish", and concludes that "subsistence fishing
for small fish and prawns provide a cushioning effect on poverty" (FAP 6, 1993).
A recent study (Fells et aI, 1996) implied that small fish are not so small, growing to a length of 25 cms. This study listed 45
species, including 18 species of carps and 9 each of catfishes, perches and other groups as SIS (see Appendix 2 for
complete list). Felts et al (1996) further sub-categorized SIS into three main groups:
a. Species which reach a maximum length up to 7.5 cm (3 inches).
b. Species which reach a maximum length up to 15 cm (6 inches).
c. Species which reach a maximum length up to 25 cm (9 inches).
Another study (Ali, 1997) listed 143 species of SIS, some of which are shown in the table below:
Table showing main SIS species groups (Ali, 1997)
Minnows, Rasboras and Bards
Anchovies and Sardines
Fresh water prawns