Regional hilsa knowledge-sharing workshop (Bangladesh-Myanmar): lessons for incentive-based hilsa management
Hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) is one of the most important fish in coastal and inland regions of Myanmar and Bangladesh. More than 75% of global hilsa fish production comes from these two countries – 60% from Bangladesh and 15% from Myanmar. Hilsa is increasingly subject to overfishing and habitat degradation, however, threatening millions of livelihoods, exacerbating poverty and limiting access to the food that many communities rely on for survival.
Hilsa presents a transboundary fisheries management challenge between Myanmar and Bangladesh. With Darwin Initiative support, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and its partners recently worked on a project aimed at conserving biodiversity and protecting livelihoods in Bangladesh through incentive-based hilsa fishery management. At a regional seminar to share project achievements, scientists and officials from Myanmar called for a similar scheme in their country (Dhaka, May 2016). Now, another Darwin Initiative project, led by IIED, in partnership with WorldFish Myanmar, Yangon University, the Myanmar Department of Fisheries and the Network Activities Group, aims to design a cost-effective, evidence-based and participatory incentive-based hilsa fisheries management mechanism for Myanmar.
The 2016 workshop aimed to establish a platform for knowledge sharing between stakeholders in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Experts in Bangladesh shared their experience and lessons learned with regard to hilsa management and incentive schemes, while experts in Myanmar shared their unique needs and opportunities and gained real-world insight into the implementation of incentive-based hilsa management in a neighbouring context.