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Impact of Government-NGO Initiatives in Community Based Fisheries Management in Bangladesh

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Thompson, Paul; Islam, Gazi Md. Nurul; Kadir, Md. Monjur
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1853
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
resource management
Abstract: "The four million ha of openwaters in Bangladesh are among the world's richest and most complex fisheries. The rivers, beels (lakes), baors (oxbow lakes), haors (large deeply flooded depressions), and floodplains support some 260 fish species (Rahman, 1989) and perhaps some 10 million people earn an income from fish. Several studies, including FAP 16 (1995) and the study reported here, indicate that about 80% of rural households traditionally catch fish or food to sell. Fish contribute about 60% of animal protein consumed (Islam, in press). Studies have shown that the many 'miscellaneous' small fish caught from the floodplains and lakes by poor people, which have been neglected in official statistics and policies, provide relatively more essential nutrients than do the large fish favored by fish culture programs (FAP 16 1995). "Fish habitat destruction due to roads, embankments, flood control and irrigation structures, and natural siltation, along with overfishing, have been commonly cited as major causes of the deterioration of the country's fisheries resources (Hughes et al. 1994; Ali, 1997). However, an underlying factor has been a policy framework that has discouraged local institutions and traditional systems of fisheries protection and sustainable management. "Several projects to improve management and production of common property fisheries have focused on stock enhancement of floodplains (Ali 1997; Islam in press) and Oxbow lakes (Apu et al. in press). At the same time, and in common with other countries (Pomeroy and Williams, 1994), there has also been emphasis on greater involvement of local communities and/or of poor fishers in management. In Bangladesh this has been facilitated by the activities of NGOs, often working with government. This paper discusses some of the early impacts of one such collaborative project."

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