The Regional Workshop on the Promotion of Inland Small-scale Fisheries Management through Rights-based Fisheries and Co-management Towards Institutional Building and Participatory Approaches Project: Transferring Lesson-learned and Experience

Date: 14-15 September 2011
Venue: Phetchaburi Province, Thailand


The Secretary-General of SEAFDEC, Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri, welcomed the participants and observers to the Regional Workshop. He emphasized that the Regional Workshop would conclude the implementation of the three-year project on the promotion of small-scale inland fisheries management focusing on “the promotion of rights-based fisheries and co-management towards institutional building and participatory approaches” in Lao PDR and Myanmar. In addition, this Workshop would share the lessons-learned and experiences gained especially as regards enhancing the capacity of local stakeholders and concerned fisheries officials. He expressed the hope that the participants would make use of the outcome of this Workshop as the guide in the development of inland small-scale fisheries management. He then declared the Meeting open.

Objectives of the regional workshop

1. To report and deliver lesson-learned and experience from the project implementation executed in Lao PDR and Myanmar to ASEAN member countries.

2. To promote and improve capacity building of local stakeholders and fisheries officials empowering into both resource management and economic development toward concept and practice of co-management and right-based fisheries.

3. To share and exchange opinion and experience on promoting and practicing either linkage or network of fisheries communities implementing and managing demarcated areas of conservative zone as applicable means for enhancing inland fisheries resources applying into other ASEAN member countries.


1. Participants fully comprehend practical and applicable activities are as means of way forward to develop and secure demarcated areas of conservative zone for sustaining an opportunity of employment occupying in inland fisheries sector.

2. Participants understand well on an active practice of co-management between government office and stakeholders on conservative zone management and access of alternative livelihood.

Conclusion and recommendations

Improvement in collecting of information on inland fisheries

Considering that in the current fishery statistics, inland fishery production is mainly compiled from landing sites and could be under-reported, data and information collection on inland fisheries should therefore be improved. Such data/information collection should also include catches meant for direct selling and household consumption through the use of unconventional data collection and/or non-routine data collection methodologies.

Baseline survey of communities (e.g. socio-economics, environment) should be conducted before and after the introduction of resource conservation/enhancement or alternative livelihood activities, to be able to assess the impacts from the introduction of such activities, and ensure the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem and environment after the project has completed.

SEAFDEC should develop tool kits on the methodologies for undertaking surveys and data collection (e.g. RRA, PRA), outlining the advantages/disadvantages of each methodology for different situations, which should be provided to the Member Countries for reference and possible adaption.

For better understanding and knowledge of stakeholders through valuation study

In order to enhance the awareness of policy makers and planners on the importance of inland fisheries, appropriate methodologies for the valuation of inland fishery ecosystems (in terms of production as well as the contribution of inland fisheries to food security, livelihood and other social and economic aspects) should be developed. Information on the importance of inland fisheries should also be packaged in the form of policy briefs which can be used as reference for policy makers.

As inland water resources are being utilized by various sectors, both fisheries and non-fisheries, coordination and communication among these sectors should be enhanced to minimize and/or take mitigation measure on any possible impacts caused by any sector.

Bio-ecological data and information such as the carrying capacity and trophic status of waters should be considered in developing fish cage culture in the Reservoir/Lake. The cage culture is well developed in the waters where the trophic status is oligotrophic or mesotrophic with equivalence to carrying capacity of the waters. In the case where the trophic status is eutrophic, it should not develop the cage culture.

SEAFDEC should develop guidelines for reservoir fisheries management. For the sustainability of inland fisheries after the project’s completion, Lao PDR and Myanmar should continue to implement the project activities following the said SEAFDEC guidelines.

Enhancing capacity of local communities
Local communities should be encouraged to take part in the management of fishery resources (e.g. under co-management or participatory management scheme), and take up certain roles, e.g. in developing fishing regulations, resource enhancement and MCS activities. In addition, fishery licensing and registration (where applicable) could also be applied/promoted to limit the access to fisheries and enhance the effectiveness of fisheries management.

In the case of leasable fisheries, concerned governments should not include areas that are important for people’s livelihoods and in awarding rights to lease holders factors other than the highest bidder in auctions should be considered, such as indications of prospective lease holders to undertake rehabilitation/conservation initiatives/activities.

Choosing appropriate alternative livelihood activities should be included in the stakeholders’ consultation process, based on the requirement/preference of the target groups and the locally-available raw materials, taking into account the economic viability of such activities.

Training on alternative livelihood activities may necessarily be directly provided to large groups of local community members/fishers/farmers but could be focused on trainers (or few leading farmers/fishers) who have the capability to train the local people and conduct frequent visits to the communities to ensure the success and sustainability of the activities.

Conduct of feasibility studies on conservation zones

Selection of fishery conservation areas should focus on critical habitats such as deep pools, breeding area, migratory route, and should take in to consideration available scientific evidences as well as local or traditional knowledge. However, under participatory approach, consideration should also be given to the convenience and capability of the communities to manage and monitor the areas, but without compromising ecological, genetic and environmental concerns. Moreover, the fishery conservation area should also consist of spawning, nursery and feeding grounds.

In releasing fish to natural inland water habitats, e.g. for resource enhancement purposes or culture-based fisheries, indigenous species or low-trophic-level species should be used in order to minimize possible impacts to the species diversity of the ecosystems.

Finally, Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri, thanked all the participants for making this workshop a great success. He strongly convinced that the recommendations and lessons learned from the workshop are also beneficial for the countries in the region in their efforts to develop sustainable inland fisheries co-management, and secure employment opportunities for the fishers in the respective countries. He expresses his gratitude for the active participation in sharing and exchanging experiences for the improvement of the inland fisheries sector. He then declared the Meeting closed.