Fish is one of the most important sources of animal protein and micronutrients in Myanmar with average consumption levels estimated between 21 to over 51kg/person/yr. However, with significant levels of malnutrition in the country, these figures are likely to hide a large diversity of consumption patterns.
The fisheries sector in Myanmar provides employment to 3.2 million people (800,000 full- time and 2.4 million part-time).
Inland and marine fisheries make up nearly 80% of Myanmar’s fish production, at 4.1 million tonnes, and remain a key contributor to the national fish supply. Aquaculture has grown significantly in the past decade, and has now reached 22% of annual fish production, 950,000 tonnes in 2015, according to government statistics reported to FAO. Aquaculture’s contribution to total fish consumption remains low at 20% compared to neigbouring Thailand (80%) and Bangladesh (55%), indicating the relative importance of capture fisheries, and likely potential for future growth of aquaculture.
WorldFish in Myanmar
WorldFish is working with Myanmar Government and other partners to create a policy environment to improve fisheries management to capture more economic, social and environmental benefits for the long-term. The WorldFish integrated research and development program is endorsed by Government and seeks to unlock the potential for growth in aquaculture for example in the many household ponds in the Ayerwaddy Delta. Scaling-up smallholder aquaculture can bring benefits such as better incomes, nutrition and health.
Strengthening fisheries governance is an important objective particularly in open access areas that account for about 75% of the fish production from inland freshwater fisheries, 28% of total national fish production or 1.5 million tonnes annually. Improved fisheries governance will require the development of new policies, laws, better management practices and institutional arrangements that secure rights for small scale fishers and can balance ecological and human needs.
Current Priorities / Initiatives
- Small-scale aquaculture development
- Genetic improvement program: GIFT Tilapia, Rohu carp
- Healthy food basket: Increasing availability, access and consumption of micronutrient-rich small fish and vegetables
- Improving Myanmar's food basket through integrated rice-fish production
- Strengthening involvement of women, small-scale farmers and marginal groups in the domestic fish market
- Policies for sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture growth
- Stimulating smallholder and SME aquaculture development
- Maximize sustainable fish production in small-scale fisheries with equitable benefits to fish-dependent communities;
- Assessment of the impact of fishery management on fish production, incomes, biodiversity, food security, human nutrition and gender equity.
Anticipated impacts by 2022
- 0.45M producer households adopt improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health and aquaculture and fisheries management practices
- 0.40M people, of which at least 50% are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains
- 0.12M people, of which 50% are women, are without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12
- 0.35M more women of reproductive age are consuming an adequate number of food groups
- 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 10% increase in water and nutrient use efficiency in 0.34M tonnes of fish per annum
- 0.47M hectares of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of SSF resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds