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The management of fishing capacity in both inland and marine fisheries is a major policy concern in most countries in Southeast Asia. Excess capacity leads to a number of negative impacts, such as resource use conflicts, overfishing, environmental degradation, economic wastage, and security threats. This paper presents the results of a regional study that examined various approaches to managing excess fishing capacity in small-scale fisheries in Southeast Asia.

Bangladesh has had comprehensive experience of community based management for inland capture fisheries from several projects (revenue and externally funded) over the last 10 to 15 years. The lessons were extensively used for the elaboration of a strategy and a programme, which will seek to consolidate gains in and expansion of community based management linked to institutional and legal reform and a recognition and strengthening of the roles of civil society and the private sector.

The depletion and degradation of the State marine and aquatic resources due to uncontrolled exploitation are the primary reasons for the enactment of fisheries laws. There are two approaches to the enforcement of these laws. Traditional law enforcement involves the intervention or actual performance by government through its designated and deputized agents. However, government activities are directed mainly at preventing further resource depletion.