Scaling Systems and Partnerships for Accelerating the Adoption of Improved Tilapia Strains by Small-Scale Fish Farmers (SPAITS) Project Inception Workshop
Rice-fish systems are common in many South and Southeast Asian countries as well as some areas of Africa. A week-long visit to Bangladesh by delegation from Cambodia offered participants opportunity to share challenges and successes around these systems.
The dual-objective project, funded and conducted in collaboration with FAO, first focuses on reviewing current approaches and outcomes that have been facilitated through co-management governance strategies in Asia. Substantial investments have been made in co-management of small-scale fisheries (SSFs), and in the first activity we will review co-management in the region using peer reviewed and grey literature. The project’s major activity is to examine how co-management has been undertaken and what has been achieved in particular cases (we will apply a case study approach) in a way that can strengthen future investments in co-management. Secondly, this project responds to a request from the Asia-Pacific Fisheries Commission asking for information to support decision-making and strategic planning in the use, development and governance of information communication technologies (ICTs) in SSFs in the region. We will make a preliminary assessment of the ways ICTs have been used, including outcomes and potential unintended consequences. Then through events, we will facilitate sharing of experiences with ICTs for SSFs in the region and beyond. These two reviews will produce valuable information products to fisheries decision-makers working in Asia.
In Myanmar, the fast-growing aquaculture sector has huge potential to improve the lives of rural households, which make up 70 percent of the population and depend largely on low-yielding agriculture for their livelihoods (FAO 2015).
In Myanmar, fish is an important part of the diet.
The European Union is the world’s largest importer of seafood products, mainly from Asia. The growth of aquaculture in Asia has been remarkable, but it also raises environmental concerns and poses serious challenges in terms of sustainability, social equity and suitable technologies. To establish sustainable aquaculture practices that improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental impact, the project will establish standards for aquaculture site planning, animal health, food product safety and farm governance. A key aim is to launch a multi-stakeholder platform—the European-Asian Technology and Innovation Platform—to foster international cooperation on sustainable aquaculture between Europe and South-East Asia.
In Bangladesh, many poor fishers struggle to cope during the government-imposed hilsa fishing ban. Boosting the resilience of the communities whose livelihoods depend on hilsa (also known as ilish), the national fish of Bangladesh, is therefore the goal of the USAID-funded Enhanced Coastal Fisheries in Bangladesh (ECOFISH Bangladesh) project. Since 2014, the project has established 280 hilsa conservation groups in 81 villages, and is training women in new livelihood activities such as vegetable gardening.
In November 2013, the super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) struck the Philippines, causing huge devastation. In the most affected provinces of rural Leyte and Samar, home to some of the poorest people in the Philippines, over 5,500 people died. Shelters and properties were washed out, and farming and fishing livelihoods were destroyed.