Turning the Tide: Community Based Fisheries Management Protecting the Poor and the Environment

Jan 01, 2007
  • Description

The Community Based Fisheries Management (CBFM-2) project is attempting to turn back the ride of years of environmental degradation in Bangladesh by conferring the responsibility for looking after the inland fisheries resources to those whose lives depend on them. The principle is simple -- hand over management of water bodies such as beels, floodplains and rivers to community groups and they will see to it that these resources are managed sustainabily and equitably so that future generations can depend on them for years to come. In practice, it is a complex process -- one which requires major shifts in long-held policies and principles by the government, intensive community development work with a range of NGOs and other stakeholders and the social empowerment of some of Bangladesh's most vulnerable citizens, the poor fishing community. Through a community based approach, groups of poor fishers are now practicing sustainable fisheries management by creating sanctuaries, protecting against illegal and destructuve fishing and banning fishing during the spawning season in project water bodies.