In developing countries like Cambodia, riverine and coastal waters are the lifeblood of many communities, and have been for millennia. Small-scale fisheries operations feed the local populace, employ local workers, and are a way of life for millions. With demand for fish products’ soaring worldwide, aquaculture in developing nations is seen as a tantalizing opportunity to tap into a growing global market. But cashing in on this global boom is easier said than done for the predominantly poor fishers working in low-tech aquaculture operations. The Pro-poor Business Models for Small-scale Aquaculture (BMSA) project aims to alleviate poverty by identifying innovative business models and finance options that will help small-scale aquaculture enterprises take their produce from catch to market.
This project is fundamentally concerned with maintaining the flow of environmental goods and services to benefit human wellbeing, with improved human wellbeing proposed as a desirable outcome of ‘development’. The novelty of the approach is to address the challenges of environmental sustainability and resilience from a gender-sensitive wellbeing perspective, rather than from the more usual “resource-rent maximisation” perspective of fisheries economic policy.
Bangladesh is currently experiencing a steady loss of biodiversity in its protected areas: national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, game reserves, wetland and fishery sanctuaries, and ecologically critical areas. Despite this situation, people living in and around these ecosystems continue to extract and use the shrinking resources, mainly because they have few alternatives