Gazi Md. Nurul Islam
Institute of Agricultural and Food Policy Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Tai Shzee Yew
Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
The revenue-oriented approach has not been able to involve poor fishers in the inland fisheries management in Bangladesh. A community-based fisheries management (CBFM-2) approach was implemented over a period of 6 years (2001-2006) to improve access to fishing rights of the poor and to improve productivity as well as the sustainability of fisheries resources. This study investigates the changes in fisher’s access to livelihoods in the various types of water bodies such as closed beels (deeper depressions in the floodplain), open beels (lake), rivers and floodplains to enhance their livelihoods. Data for the study was obtained from two questionnaire-based field surveys conducted by the Bangladesh CBFM project office: a baseline study carried out in 2002 and an impact study in mid-2006. A total of 2,826 households were randomly selected from several regions in Bangladesh, comprising 1,994 households at 34 (51%) CBFM project water bodies and 832 households at 10 (59%) control water bodies. This study found that the CBFM fishers have obtained greater access to fisheries and improved livelihoods than non-CBFM fishers. The fishers have now changed their attitudes, have greater awareness of fisheries rules and are able to resolve conflicts much easier in the CBFM water bodies. Long-term access rights over fisheries resources should be considered as the priority for a sustainable inland fishery and livelihoods of fishers in Bangladesh.
Community-based management, Inland fisheries, Livelihood assets, Social capital, Access rights, Poor fishers
Socio-economic and Policy
To determine the household income and non-income benefits using a livelihood asset framework.
Data used in this study were obtained from CBFM (phase 2) project. The project office had conducted two questionnaire-based field surveys: the first was in 2002 shortly after the start of the CBFM-2 project and the second was carried out in mid-2006, just before the conclusion of the project. Prior to the first survey, partner NGOs had carried out a household census in all project and control areas. Random sample of more than 6,000 households was selected from the census list for the first survey. For the second survey, 1994 households from 34 (51%) CBFM project water bodies and 832 households from 10 (59%) control water bodies have been randomly selected. These selected households in the second survey were also being interviewed in the first survey. The questionnaire used in both surveys covered a wide range of socio-economic and livelihood parameters, aquatic resource use, fishing involvement, access, compliance, existing NGO support and indicators of various livelihood assets. The questionnaires were administered to five categories of households based on their income and fishing profiles in both project water bodies and control sites. The surveys were conducted through face-to-face interviews by a team of ten experienced local enumerators. Training was given to acquaint them with the nature and purpose of the questionnaire prior to the fieldwork. The respondents were informed about the schedule of the survey through DOF and NGO field officers to ensure their presence during the survey. This paper reports the descriptive statistics on livelihood and income as well as access to various livelihood assets of fisher households in Bangladesh. Fishing is the primary source of income for the majority of the fishers. The overall fishers’ income from fishing increased by 21 percent (from Tk 15,035 to Tk 18,189) over 2002-2006. Income from fishing has significantly increased in FPB and rivers (104 percent and 60 percent respectively), and slightly increased in OB (9 percent). However, fishing income has decreased in CB (23 percent). These results show that the implementation of CBFM partly contributed to raising income of fishing households in Bangladesh. Fishing income from CB has reduced because fishers have to pay up-front for leasing fees and costs of stocking fish. The organized fishers have failed to harvest their stock due to conflicts and litigationsNote7 with previous leaseholders (Islam & Dickson, 2006). In the control sites, the non-fishers have increased their income from fishing in OB, CB and FPB, while fishing income has significantly reduced in rivers from 2002 to 2006. This indicates that fishers’ access to fishing in OB, CB and FPB is less restricted. Although the river fisheries are open access in Bangladesh, increased in fishing activities has reduced household fishing income due to overexploitation of fisheries in rivers.
Journal of Agricultural Science; Vol. 5, No. 6; 2013; ISSN 1916-9752 E-ISSN 1916-9760
This paper investigated how the organized fishers under the CBFM project secure access to various assets in order to enhance their livelihoods. Comparisons between CBFM and non-CBFM fisher households fishing in closed beels, open beels, floodplains and river sections were made by using household survey data collected by CBFM project office in 2002 and 2006. Fishing income increased by 21 percent (from Tk 15,035 to Tk 18,189) from 2002-2006. The increased in fishing income reflects better utilization of the fisheries resources at the CBFM sites. However, fishing income decreased in the CBFM CB as fishers had to incur higher operating costs by paying lease fees and stocking costs. This may have a negative impact on the long-term viability of the community management of CB fisheries in Bangladesh. Although fishing income has reduced, fishers in the CBFM project areas have also diversified their income sources. Fishers' income from agricultural farming increased from 12 percent to 16 percent over 2002-2006. Therefore, CBFM fishers were able to increase income from non fishing income-generating activities.