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Fisheries Co-management in Bangladesh: Experiences with GO-NGO-Fisher Partnership Models

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Ahmed, Mahfuzuddin; Capistrano, Doris; Hossain, Mokammel
Conference: Reinventing the Commons, the Fifth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bodoe, Norway
Conf. Date: May 24-28, 1995
Date: 1995
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1689
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
fisheries
NGOs
co-management
ICLARM
institutional design
Abstract: "Failure in the past to ascertain responsible fishing practices and equitable distribution of benefits under traditional leasing systems has motivated the Bangladesh government to work in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and fishing communities in recent times. Several models of interactions between governmental organizations (GO), NGOs and fishing communities have emerged out of the partnerships. This paper discusses the operational approaches that were used to identify the fishery commons and create institutions for increasing the participation of local fishers in the making and enforcing resource use rules. The group-based empowerment strategies of NGOs; their role in securing for the beneficiaries the access rights to waterbodies as well as provision of credits and inputs for employment and income generation activities showed some practical evidence of the concept of the poor as managers of the fisheries resources. The paper also discusses the policy issues involving the rights held by local community members to catch fish for subsistence purposes; practices and uses that affect the physical environment. There are also issues associated with the difficulties of reconciling differing government (GO) and NGO priorities and points of view with regard to target group identification and levels of responsibilities. The paper concludes that a non-obstructionist policy context and interests of the powerful groups as well as those dependent on the fishery resources are the critical factors for successful evolution of co-management models in countries like Bangladesh."

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