Bangladesh prides itself on being very rich in fish diversity. Its numeroud and diverse inland waterbodies and paddy fields are home to over 267 freshwater fish species. Biodiversity of fish species is important for nutrition and livelihoods of the rural poor in Bangladesh. There are promising fisheries technologies which have been developed and are being practised for improving fish biodiversity and nutrition.
WorldFish, with funding support from the European Commission (EC), is undertaking a project with sites in Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Tanzania. Titled Implementing an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in Small-scale Tropical Marine Fisheries, the project commenced in December 2011 and is set to finish by December 2014. The project has adopted an EAF framework with the aim of improving small-scale fisheries (SSF) management in the four countries – a significant step to help reduce poverty.
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.
Indonesia’s fisheries exports rose from 2 206 t in 1970 to 598 385 t in 1996 with a subsequent export value rise from US$0.69 billion to US$1.78 billion. The surplus in the balance of trade (BOT) was US$1.59 billion in 1996. The fisheries exports were predominantly shrimp, tuna, skipjack and demersal fishes. Large scale fisheries operations are prevalent in the Java Sea. The dominant fishing gear is hook-and-line (40%), gillnet (31%), traps (10%), seine net and lift-net (6%), purse seine (1%), shrimp net with BED (0.04%) and others (6%). The large scale fisheries e.g.
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.
In order to achieve sustainable fishing livelihoods in coastal communities, data on profitability of small-scale fisheries relative to fish species hauled and gear types used by fishermen is required as part of a broader fisheries management strategy. This study was undertaken with this in mind. Findings from this study suggest high rates of exploitation, in that stocks generally cannot provide for increased economic return in the face of increased investment.
Fish production in Vietnam increased rapidly from 420 000 t in 1981 to 1 130 680 t in 1998. Likewise, there was an expansion in the number of motorized fishing boats from 29 584 units with an average horsepower (HP) of 19.8 boat-1 in 1981 to 71 800 units with an average HP of 26.2 in 1998. In 1995, fish production was valued at VN$2 475 billion (US$0.02 billion at 1 US$ = 11 041 VN$; source: oanda. com).