At a time when fish resources are being exploited, co-management systems work to ensure all our fisheries are ecologically sustainable. Many of Myanmar coastal fisheries are now either unmanaged or under some form of limited management. Through different donors, NAG spent about one decade in Rakhine, Ayeyarwaddy, Bago, Mon and Tanintharyi – all to initiate and enhance co-management. Apart from the economic and social value to our coastal region of having healthy fish stocks for the future, regional consumption rate is also gradually increasing. Managing coastal fisheries to the highest standards is therefore vital to the long-term viability of fishing sector. Fostering co-management is implemented through a series of legislated plans, regulations, orders and license conditions. These are developed in conjunction with industry, elite groups-the rich and the authorities, associations and civil society groups.

Strengthening the skills of DoF staff & local community
We work on strategy and policy, and we will establish a training center for the people who work for the fishers. We have been building the capacity of DoF staff their skills to be more effective supporters. We talk with them; we run workshops/meetings for them; we facilitate communities’ voice for land rights; we share key expert’s findings; we write policies and procedures. We have met the ministers of each coastal region and state to advocate for fishers.

Accomplishment in reducing resource exploitation
It is crucial to provide the fishery community a proper value chain training for not only catch but processing, usually done by women. We know, because we’ve been working for them since Nargis 2008. Communities have already practiced co-management in Rakhine and part of Ayeyarwaddy- Pyar Pon and Daedaye Tsp. We already imposed parliament to consider co-management as a component of Ayeyarwaddy fresh water fishery laws. In Mon state, Aungkanthar village was approved by the minister as a co-management area.

Looking forward
Are we effective? We also support the community with revolving fund; and it provides them one channel to depict their desire for alternative good. How can we ever know what tragedies/losses we have prevented? Managing ecosystems and land erosion present considerable challenges. We believe with this dynamic approach, and with the support of the local community, we have the best chance of achieving our goal of sustainable fisheries management and securing the best social and economic outcomes for the region.