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Strategies for cbfm in haor-basin of bangladesh and mekong delta of southern viet nam


M.G. Mustafa and A. K. M. Firoz Khan
The WorldFish Center
House 22B, Road 7, Block F, Banani
Dhaka 1213, Bangladesh.
Fisheries constitute a major component of food and livelihood systems in the flood-prone
ecosystems in Bangladesh and Mekong delta of Southern Viet Nam. The fisheries sector
in Bangladesh is an important source of employment, rural income, food security, import
substitution and biodiversity. The sector accounts for 20.9% of agricultural GDP, 3.7% of
the total GDP, 4.0% of the export earning and 58% of animal protein intake (DoF, 2009).
Bangladesh is endowed with enormous inland fishery resources; approximately 28% of
the total area of the country is floodplains, contributing significantly to national inland
fisheries production (DoF-FRSS, 2006). There are 12 million people whose livelihoods
depend directly on fisheries as full-time fishers, subsistence fishers, part-time fishery
labourers, aquaculture operators, fisheries traders and business people.
Fisheries management in the past was mostly revenue oriented under the jurisdiction of
the Ministry of Land (MoL) through the East Bengal State Acquisition and Tenancy Act
in 1950 which allowed water bodies to be leased to the highest bidder, usually to the for
1-3 years. Poor fishers were thus practically excluded from participating in the process of
bidding and, therefore, from the management of fisheries. In haor areas (extensively low
lying and deeply flooded areas of floodplain) most of the land remains under water for
about five months in a year, yet the benefits during a period when otherwise good crop
land would be unproductive, was only for a few poor people who could access the fishery
as fishing labourers under the conditions set by the leaseholder (Khan and Middendrop,
2006; Khan, 2007).
In 1986 in response to these problems and lobbying by the national fishers association,
the government introduced a New Fisheries Management Policy (NFMP) and
responsibility for nearly 300 water bodies was transferred from the Ministry of Fisheries
and Livestock (MoFL) to the Department of Fisheries (Sultana and Thompson, 2000).
The aim was to save fishers from exploitation by influential middlemen, and for the
Department of Fisheries (DoF) to limit the number of fishers using the resources to
ensure maximum sustainable catches (Ahmed et al, 1997).

Community based fisheries management project
The 2002 Community Based Fisheries Management in South and South-East Asia
(CBFM-SSEA) project started in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh and in the Mekong
Delta, Vietnam. The results of project implementation in Bangladesh are reported here.
Fish catch monitoring started in four project sites (Chatol beel, Chatol-Moishakuri beel,
Soma-nodi, Nainda beel) in Sunamganj district of Bangladesh. By 2006 the project had
facilitated the establishment of six Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) representing
504 direct participants and more than 1000 part-time and subsistence fishing households
in Bangladesh. Two partner NGOs helped the fishers to organize Beel Management
Committees (BMCs) for fishery resources management. In all six beels BMCs were
formed through informal election of members by stakeholders and thus had their own
resource management plans and rules. Committees generally adopted simple
conservation-based measures under the CBFM-SSEA.

Cluster management
The project partner NGOs – Efforts for Rural Advancement (ERA) and Sunamganj
Jonokalyan Sangshta
(SUJON) conducted fisheries resource management activities
through involving beneficiaries in BMCs, and addressed the potential cluster
management of haor beel habitats (a beel is a depression holding water for part or all of
the year). ERA became involved with managing a cluster of three CBOs and BMCs
(Chatol beel, Nainda beel and Soma nodi) and SUJON did so with three CBOs and
BMCs (Lomba beel, Chatol-Moishakuri and Chitlia beel). The CBOs mitigated local
conflicts with other interest groups, and prepared resource management plans. To
develop institutional sustainability and networks, a cluster networking committee was
formed at water body cluster level or at the Upazila (sub-district level). Emphasis was
placed on CBO registration and memorandum of agreement was signed between the DoF
and CBOs to promote institutional sustainability and enhance effectiveness of the cluster
committee. Registration with government agencies was completed for all six CBOs.
Materials and Methods
Gear survey and catch monitoring
Gear surveys involved a regular spot survey for a sample of gears in operation, and the
total catch from each gear type. The gear census covered the number and types of gear
operating in the study sites. Catch statistics were recorded for each gear type for four
days per month, per site.

Focus group discussions (FDGs)
The study utilized a qualitative research methodology known as Focus Group
Discussions (FDGs). The sample consisted of three groups (20-25 people in each group).
A discussion guide was used to guide the conversation and a structured questionnaire to
get the participants views regarding fisheries management and lessons learned.
Shannon-Wiener diversity index
Species wise production rates were used to estimate the Shannon-Wiener (1948) diversity
index (H’).

Species assemblage
Similarities in the species assemblages were summarized in two-dimensional (2D) scatter
plot using nonparametric multidimensional scaling (MDS) ordinations following a
strategy proposed by Clarke (1993) based on Bray-Curtis.
Household’s income
The monitoring measured changes household income over the project period. Assessment
was done through a baseline study carried out in 2002 and an impact study carried out in
mid-2006. The studies sampled 360 households (including both project beneficiaries and
others) at six project water bodies. Household selection was based on random sampling
of a comprehensive census in project areas.
Annual catch trends
The study covered catch monitoring, fishers’ participation, fish biodiversity and changes
in fishing intensity. This study reveals that production increased over the years due to
management approaches that encouraged participation of the fishers, beneficiaries and
community in managing fisheries resources. The annual average catch (kg/ha) trends for
all six water bodies tended to increase over the study period from an annual average of
352 kg/ha in year 1 to 805 kg/ha by year 4, or 59% year-1 (Figure 1). Considering
individual sites, annual fish production per hectare per year increased on average by
114%, 68%, 95%, 40%, 27% and 9% for Soma Nodi, Nainda beel, Chatol beel, Chatol-
, Lomba beel and Chitlia beel respectively.
Figure 1 Combined production trend (between 2002 and 2005) from six project sites A comparison of annual daily catch per fisher was made for all gear combined in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Using observations for 4 sites, the response on fish abundance (daily catch per fisher) was examined. The annual daily catch per fisher increased on average by 56%. Taking into account individual sites, annual daily catch per fisher increased on average by 11%, 73% 70% and 68% in Chatol beel, Chatol-Moishakuri, Soma nodi and Nainda beel respectively (Figure 2). These increases in fish catch were also reflected in income which was measured during the first and last year of the study period. The annual average share of profit per fisher also increased significantly during the last year of the project from an annual average of Tk.1846 (US$27) in year 1 to Tk5947 (US$ 87) by year 4. Chatol beel
Som a nodi
Nainda beel
Mm oishakuri
Figure 2 Catch per fisher’s per day for all gears between 2003 and 2005.
Species biodiversity
Among the four project sites the higher biodiversity index (H’) was found in Soma nodi
(2.635), followed by Chatol-Moishakuri (2.381), Nainda beel (2.379), and Chatol beel
(2.058). The species biodiversity was higher in Chatol-Moushakuri in 2004 compared to
the preceding and following years. In contrast the species biodiversity in Soma-nodi was found slightly lower (2.607) in 2004 compared to 2.663 in 2003. Concurrently, species biodiversity in Nainda beel was lower in 2004 (2.11) compared to baseline survey in 2002 where it was found to be 2.699. The important status of species biodiversity in project sites appeared to be unchanged with slight deviation of annual biodiversity index. The annual mean biodiversity index (H’) for four project sites increased from 2.313±0.176 (H’) in year-1 to 2.469±0.203 (H’) in year-3. Cluster management The Community groups involved 503 direct beneficiaries for cluster level management. Through cluster management the following improvements were observed: • Better linkages were established with local administration and elites, • Better leadership was developed and larger incidence of community mobilization, • Effective coordination was developed among partners, • CBOs appeared empowered, but required a considerable time for better No significant dissimilarities were found in the management performance of the two partner NGOs (p = 0.175). Average linkage from cluster analysis, using Bray-Curtis similarities on square root-transformed species abundances are given in Figure 3. Figure 3 Site dendogram of the 15 samples, using Bray-Curtis similarities. Species abundance - baseline year and impact year comparison In Bangladesh for project sites, both fish and prawn species were either absent or less abundant during baseline year compared to impact year during 2004-05 (Figure 4). Among 20 principal species 18 species were more abundant during impact year compared to baseline year. Only two species were more abundant during baseline year compared to impact year in CBFM-SSEA sites. Figure 4 Average abundance [all gear catch per unit effort (kg 100 gear-1)] of species
caught from six sites during base line year (2002) and impact year (2004-05).
Fisheries impact
1. The project has provided evidence that annual fish production (kg/ha) increased
2. Future programme might comprise some form of adaptive approaches to community- based management to help categorize which interventions are most likely to be considered to improve fisheries management performance.
Impact on household incomes
Average household incomes (adjusted for inflation) have increased by 13% over the
project period - 2002 to 2006. Incomes for fishers have increased by 16%, for better-off
households there were similar increases (15%), while there was a modest rise in income
for non-fishers of 11% in the project area. This indicates that project fishing households
have significantly (P<0.05) improved their income levels compared to the non-fisher
counterparts over the project period.
Ahmed, M., Capistrano, A.D. and Hossain, M. 1997. Experience of partnership models
for the co-management of Bangladesh fisheries. Fisheries Management and Ecology 4 (3), 233-248. Clarke, K.R. 1993. Non-parametric multivariate analysis of changes in community structure. Aust. J. Ecol. 18, 117-143. DoF-FRSS. 2006. Fishery Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh (July 2005 – June 2006), DoF. 2009. Souvenir, National Fish Week, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries Khan, A.K.M. and Middendrop, H. 2006. Technical Advisory Notes (TAN) Bangladesh and Vietnam. The WorldFish Center, Bangladesh. Khan, A.K.M. 2007. Waterbody case study on Soma Nodi, Chatol Beel, Nainda beel, Lamba beel, Chatol Moishakuri beel and Chitlia beel. Case Study Report, The WorldFish Center, Bangladesh. Sultana, P. and Thompson, P.M. 2000. Community Fishery Management Implications for Food Security and Livelihoods. IIFET 2000 Proceedings. Shannon, C.E. 1948. A mathematical theory of communication. Bell. System. Tech. J.


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