This paper deals with a number of case studies that were undertaken during the last 8- 10 years in utilizing divergent ‘Tal’ wetland ecosystems (deep, semi-deep, temporary in a range of agro-ecological zones like NAZ, OAZ and Coastal Zone of the region) for the development of integrated management programmes using a range of approaches.
Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are systems in which the annual production dynamics of freshwater and/or coastal ecosystems contribute significantly to total household income.
The scoping mission team was composed of 14 people representing research institutions (RUPP), government (FiA, IFReDI), NGOs (ANKO, ADIC) and CGIAR institutions (WorldFish and Bioversity). The scoping trip was carried out over a 7-day period from April 28 to May 4 within eight (8) communities in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang. In addition, panel discussions were held with local government, fishery, agriculture and water management institutions, NGOs, the private sector and communities, and were convened in Siem Reap, Battambang and Pursat.
Thailand is currently one of the ten largest fishing nations in the world. In 1996, fish production reached 3.7 million t with 90% of the production coming from the marine fisheries sector and 10% from inland fisheries. Thai fishing operates in four fishing grounds namely, the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal. However with the establishment of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1977, Thailand lost over 300 000 km2 of traditional fishing grounds.
Bangladesh has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 164 000 km2 and a continental shelf area of 66 440 km2. Artisanal (small scale) fisheries extend from the coast to 40 m while industrial (commercial scale) fisheries operate beyond 40 m depth. The coastal fisheries of Bangladesh exploit a complex multi-species resource. There are 18 demersal and pelagic species, seven species of larger pelagic and 10 shrimp species that are commercially important among the fishes exploited.
Sri Lanka is an island country with a land area of 65 610 km2. With the declaration of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 1976, the country gained sovereign rights over an ocean area of 536 000 km2 and EEZ extending from 24 to 200 nm. The continental shelf is about 26 000 km2 with an average width of around 22 km, and the coastline is 1 100 km long. The total annual fish production of Sri Lanka was 25 000 t in 1952 and 269 850 t in 1998. Major fish species caught in Sri Lankan waters are skipjack, blood fish, yellow fin tuna, mullet, shark, trevally, Spanish mackerel, prawns, lobsters.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is pursuing a Research in Development approach that emphasizes the importance of embedding research in the development context. Reflecting this emphasis the six elements of this approach are a commitment to people and place, participatory action research, gender transformative research, learning and networking, partnerships, and capacity building. It is through the careful pursuit of these six elements that we believe that the program will achieve the development outcomes we aspire to, and do so at scale.
Effective partnership is central to the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agriculture Systems (AAS). We recognize that many organizations are working to improve the lives of people living in aquatic agricultural systems, and together they spend hundreds of millions of dollars there each year.
The effects of ditch size on growth and production of mono-sex tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus in rain fed concurrent rice–fish system were technically and economically evaluated for a period of 4 months. Three different ditch sizes were tried: 5%, 10% and 15% of the total cultivable rice field. It is concluded that rice–fish farming in a rain fed ecosystem of Bangladesh with medium ditch size and stocking density of 5000 ha-1 mono-sex tilapia can achieve better economic return.
Fish farming in Egypt is not formally recognized as an agricultural activity, so aquaculture cannot use water from irrigation canals. However, fish are raised as primary or secondary crops in combination with fruit and other plant crops. A study by the WorldFish Center found farms could efficiently use well water to intensively raise tilapia in aerated tanks and use the effluent to irrigate fruit trees, vegetables and flowers. Two other farms used water from nearby Nile irrigation canals to fill water storage reservoirs stocked with tilapia.