The Myanmar fisheries sector is vital for national food security, income generation, and export earnings and is experiencing increasing demands to deliver food and incomes for the growing domestic population of 52 million. Fisheries and aquaculture are an important part of the primary production and represented 8 percent of the country’s GDP in 2014-2015. During this period, fisheries and aquaculture produced 5.3 million tons of fish and exported over 338,000 tons valued at USD 482 million. In 2014, fisheries directly employed more than 3 million people. Seventy percent of the fish harvested is consumed nationally (21–46 kg/person/year), making fish and fish products second only to rice in importance in the diet.
Known as MYFish 2, the “Improving Fishery Management in Support of Better Governance of Myanmar’s Inland and Delta Fisheries” project is funded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). It builds on the results of a previous ACIAR-funded project, “Improving Research and Development of Myanmar’s Inland and Coastal Fisheries” (known as MYFish 1) which focused on institutional capacity building and supported an improved characterization of fisheries management systems in Myanmar.
MYFish2 goes further by improving the understanding of existing fisheries governance, testing and monitoring innovative management options, and strengthening stakeholders’ relationships toward better governance of natural resources in the priority fish production area of the Ayeyarwady Delta and the Central Dry Zone.
MYFish2 produces ecological and socio-economic data on the impact of different management practices identifying those that best contribute to fish production, protect natural resources, provide the most equitable benefits to local people.
The project’s goal is to maximize sustainable small-scale fisheries production in ways that provide equitable benefits to stakeholders in fish-dependent communities in the Ayeyarwady Delta and the Central Dry Zone. The specific aim is to assess different management practices and evaluate their impacts in securing benefits for small-scale fishers.