The present paper introduces a new method for data gathering using digital tablets in the field. The method is part of a fisheries study aimed at identifying migration patterns and breeding sites of key commercial fish species in Myanmar. The research is based on systematic and structured gathering of local knowledge along a 1,000 km long segment of the Ayeyarwady River, from the southern Delta to the northern Central Dry Zone. Digital tablets are used to convert local indigenous knowledge into data.
The major features of the distribution in space and time of the demersal and pelagic marine stocks of Burma are presented and discussed. These stocks are presently abundant and subjected to little fishing pressure. Intensification of fishing is thus permissible; in the case of the pelagic stocks, new gears will have to be introduced for the resource to become fully utilized.
Hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) is an valuable resource for millions of people in the Bay of Bengal, but its breeding and migratory habits remain largely unknown. Identifying the breeding sites and main inland migration routes of hilsa is important for management and the sustainability of the resource. The project fills a knowledge gap about hilsa and undertakes the identification of the main spawning grounds in the Ayeyarwady Delta and determines the extent of its migration along the Ayeyarwady River. This project aims to build a knowledge base from which a strategy to sustainably manage the hilsa resource can be developed. The project will gather local knowledge about fish migrations and breeding sites and will collaborate with local government and NGOs to research the livelihoods of hilsa-dependent fishers and undertake a value chain assessment of the species.
Food systems in Myanmar have the potential to be highly productive and support the demands of a growing population. This project aims to promote agricultural productivity and nutrition and to enhance livelihoods through an improved policy environment. New policies that enhance agricultural productivity and efficiency in Myanmar are hampered by a lack of research into the country’s food system. This project aims to generate and disseminate knowledge on targeted policy issues for which hard data is weak, and to use this new information to influence agriculture policy and promote reforms to increase private sector investments in the agricultural sector. It will also foster fair and sustainable policies to improve the circumstances of the country’s rural poor through greater productivity, better market access, increased investment, resilient livelihoods and increased food supply.
The fisheries sector in Myanmar is vital for national food security, income generation and export earnings. It is estimated that aquaculture and fisheries directly employ more than 3 million people and that between 12 and 15 million people benefit from the sector. Fish products are the most important sources of animal protein in the country. Fisheries development in Myanmar faces three constraints: the lack of a comprehensive information base on fisheries, the lack of proven management approaches and technologies and the limited technical capacity to implement fisheries projects. The MYFish project aims to improve the management capacity of Myanmar’s inland aquaculture and fisheries and facilitate the emergence of co-management of fisheries and small-scale aquaculture as cornerstones of rural food security and livelihoods.