By Tom Gillespie @TomGillespie1

THOUSANDS of men and women toil in a sea of dried fish in a Bangladeshi coastal port town

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Rivers of dried fish lead to a wall of produce in Naziratek

Children as young as six also ply their trade in the processing yard - which stretches over an incredible 200 acres.

Naziratek is a dried fish yard at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal in Cox's Bazar, and is the industry's biggest yard in Bangladesh.

Men get paid more than the women in the dried fish yard despite carrying out the same work

Up to 20,000 people work in Naziratek during peak season and process between 5 million and 6 million tons of dried fish.

Several different species of fish are dried out and processed at the yard, and the stock is sold within Bangladesh as well as being exported.

Women and children assemble around a mound of produce as they work among the pungent smell of the fish yard

Men earn around £1.30 a day at the yard while women earn roughly £1 for doing the same work.

Around 7,500 children also work in the conditions, which can cause acne, eczema, and scabies.

A young boy crouches down on a floor of the fish in the 200 acre processing yard

Photographer Zakir Chowdhury visited the sprawling site on January 1 and was immediately struck by the pungent smell in the air.

Fishes hang from beams while women handle more produce below

He said: "In the early morning I started my journey towards this village.

"When I approached a putrid smell hit my nose - it was horrible.

A male worker stands among lines of drying fish which appear to have been split open

"I saw a huge amount of fish that were drying under the sun.

Though thousands of people work in the Cox's Bazar yard - they are heavily outnumbered by the population of dead fish

"Everywhere you look its fish, fish, fish.

"People work there without any safety precautions and without holding a handkerchief to their nose.

Early start: Children as young as six work in the sprawling yard

"Its difficult to stay there for one second because of the rough smell."