The final national workshop: Forum for the development of small-scale fisheries in Duya Inn Reservoir, Ayeyarwady Region

Date: 5 May 2011
Myanmar Fisheries Federation, Yangon, Myanmar
Objective of the workshop
1. To report the project’s activities, outputs, constraints of the project to both local stakeholders and fisheries officials.
2. To facilitate sharing and exchanging experience implemented fisheries co-management in Duya Inn reservoir and summarize as a lesson learned for further implementing in the respective country.

3. To promote co-management and co-operation to improve fish conservation area as effective innovation for enhancing sustainable inland small-scale fisheries in Myanmar

Activities implemented

The workshop started by welcome remark of Mr. Khin Ko Lay, Director General of the Department of Fisheries Myanmar and Dr. Chamnarn Pongsri, SEAFDEC Secretary-General. Afterward, Dr. Yuttana Theparoonrat, Head of Coastal and Small-scale Fisheries Management Division, SEAFDEC-Training Department presented all agenda, background and objectives of the project implemented in Lao PDR and Myanmar scheduled for year 2008-2010. The results of each main activity were completion of sign broad installation, demarcation of conservative zone and improvement of women’ skills and knowledge on fish processing products.

A fisheries officer of Ayeyarwady Region, who is responsible for Duya Inn Reservoir Management, was very impressive on the result of the project particular on the demarcation of conservative zone and management to enhance inland fisheries resources for sustain local fishers’ livelihood and source of income and employment. He strongly agreed that leaseable holder should be a key person to lead taking care of inland fisheries resources. In addition, user clients of leasable holder should be interested in accepting the concept of co-management on conservative zone management to improve their livelihood. Furthermore, this practice should be promoted into national policy and implemented in the whole country of Myanmar in order to develop fisheries community economics. Additionally, this practice helped to conserve native species.

Mr. Saw Nuar, lease holder of fisheries in Duya Inn Reservoir, brought sample of dried-fried fish processing product to the workshop. He mentioned that this product was different from the product taught by SEAFDEC. He added that this product was more proper to Myanmar local people than the introductory product. Still, an observation found that raw materials of this product should be carefully utilized, whereas a basket of this raw material might contain a high economic value fish species. Consequently, it helped to prevent irresponsible use of fisheries resources. Nevertheless, the product had been needed high market share for distribution in order to turn benefit to local people and particular women.

In addition, Mr. Win Myint Moung, Director, urged to transfer fish processing technique spreading throughout Myanmar. He additionally rose that he observed the fish product with good package liked product in Thailand. So, this technique should be introduced and developed in Myanmar. To support this observation and request, SEAFDEC Secretary-General made commitment to the workshop that he could submit this request to the Department of Fisheries, Thailand to provide and transfer technical assistance to Myanmar. Nevertheless, he made suggestion that Myanmar fish processing producer should earlier understand taste and preference of Myanmar consumers including educate them on healthy food by avoiding oily food.

Dr. Yin Yin Moe suggested that targeted consumers should be defined and set price of fish product. SEAFDEC Secretary-General reminded that it was better to keep balance between price and purchasing power of consumers. Therefore, he strongly suggested that the product should be produced with hygienic process and quality of product should not oily. Still, the most important thing was responsible utilization of fisheries resources by identifying and sorting low and high economic value specie in order to support the concept of CCRF. Additionally, he suggested to keep balancing between predator-pray, demand-supply of fish processing product and select a proper material suited to produce a fish product.

Dr. Y. Theparoonrat questioned to Mr. Saw Noar on how feedback of fish processing technique transferred to local women in Hinthada Township. Mr. Saw Noar cited that the introductory product was not reach local people’s preference. So, he and women’s group applied fish processing products to their traditional knowledge on cooking and produced a fish product reaching Myanmar consumer’s preference. He also added that linkage between fishing and fish processing activities practiced in his village. Local client fishers, who are allowed to fish in leasable area of Duya Inn reservoir, could catch only big size of fishes and sell to their lease holder. Accordingly, women’s group had no any raw material of small size fishes for producing fish products. Other by-catch fishes would use for household consumption. As a result, this became a big constraint to develop fish processing product to generate income to women.

According to result of the conservative zone management, Mr. Saw Nora did not record any data of catch yield harvested in Duya Inn reservoir up to year 2009. After installed sign broad for conservative zone, he started to keep record fish yield caught in the reservoir. He confirmed that fish yield increased from 8,000 kg to be 12,000 kg in year 2010. Meanwhile, the development of women’s group on fish processing mainly received financial support from Mr. Saw Noar. Each group of Bay Choung village and Pauk Yoo village had six members. These members participated in the group activities five-six times a month. Income earned would share among lease holder and members. A fisheries officer of Ayeyarwady Region suggested that raw material for producing fish product should be limited by 50 kg per day. This was to encourage organizing group activity, keep practicing and earning income. Consequently, Mr. Saw Noar cited that he would support the women’s group.

Dr. Phattareeya Suanrattanachai, Fishery Governance and Management System Section Head, SEAFDEC-Training Department presented a format for discussing on identified problems or constraints and resolution including development and management. As result of the discussion, the workshop identified problems into three severities: lost of water surface because of expansion of agricultural crop liked Jude and increase of using pesticide and insecticide, blocked water flowing system, decline of fisheries resource in Duya Inn Reservoir. The workshop also suggested resolutions for solving the problems or constraints were ranked by the mentioned problems. The resolution defined were discussion and negotiation with farmer to define win-win solution between fishers and farmers, renovation of shallow water areas, releasing native species into Duya Inn Reservoir.

Afterward, the workshop defined activities of development and management stick on conservative measure, increase public awareness and building to recognize impact of irresponsible fishing practice in closed season and areas. On monitoring, technical data collection and water quality control placed high priority to conduct. On fisheries resource enhancement, fish fingerlings were particular native species should be released and avoiding exotic species might be harm to native species. In addition, conservative site should be established to enhance a new recruitment. On protecting of environment, strengthen of discussion on limited agricultural areas and use of pesticide and insecticide were suggested. On management fund, lease holder was key person to provide fund to manage and sustain fisheries resource. Still, emergency fund should be set up to recover or revitalize from flood or other natural disaster which was frequently vulnerable.

The workshop continued making discussion on way forward to improve occupation. On fisheries, the workshop emphasized to promote responsible fisheries by announcing closed season during May to August annually, limiting mesh size and banning illegal fishing boat. On Aquaculture, the workshop suggested to strengthen culture based capture fisheries. This was because releasing of new fingerlings important strategy to enhance fisheries resources for capture. On fish processing, the workshop agreed to promote on-going fish process activities and extending by educating healthy food and nutrition.

In addition, the workshop discussed on potential establishment of community group and its network. As a result of the discussion, lease holder of a fisheries community should transfer lesson learned and experience gained from implemented demarcation of conservative zone to other fisheries community. On group network, a network should be created to share and exchange technology, information and experience.

At the end of the workshop, SEAFDEC Secretary –General presented his gratitude to all participants, secretariat staffs of Myanmar for their active participation in the workshop. So, the result of the workshop would fruitful to other region and ASEAN member countries to learn from output of the project. Afterward, he declared the workshop closed.