These are the proceedings of a consultation on the existence and effectiveness of environmental monitoring systems for fisheries and aquaculture in the Lower Mekong basin. The document provides a baseline assessment of environmental monitoring systems in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam and the report of a workshop to discuss the assessments findings and future steps towards an improved environmental monitoring and early warning system that will contribute to climate change adaptation in fisheries and aquaculture in the area.
This book is the proceedings of the “Regional Consultation on Culture-Based Fisheries Development in Asia”, held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, 21-23rd of October 2014, under the auspices of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA). The consultation was jointly organised by NACA and the Fisheries Administration of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Food and nutritional security remains problematic in many developing countries. There are many initiatives underway which are designed to increase food supply, employment and income opportunities, most of which require considerable capital inputs (for instance cropping, livestock production and aquaculture). Often overlooked, are the opportunities to produce more food from the natural productive ecology of lakes and forests. Culture-based fisheries are one example of a relatively simple and low cost technology which can deliver nutritional and economic benefits to communities which often have few livelihood options.
Culture-based fisheries are based in lakes and reservoirs, where fish populations are supplemented by hatchery-produced fingerlings. The stocked fish may breed naturally in the lakes, or they may be species which are desirable but which do not breed in the still-water environments. Fish growth is driven by the natural productivity of the water bodies. Generally, local communities have ownership of the fish, with the benefits shared or used for communal purposes. However, there are other options for management and ownership depending on local needs, cultural arrangements and other uses of the water.
Research and development of culture-based fisheries has been a major endeavour for NACA and ACIAR since the mid-1990s. This has involved projects in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia, the results of which have been reported in previous publications, as noted below. In this volume, we bring together an update from research conducted in those countries and others. We trust the information will foster further development and spread of culture-based fisheries in Asia and beyond, and in doing so, bring livelihood and nutritional benefits to otherwise resource-poor communities.
Fish is the most important source of animal protein in Cambodia. On average it makes up more than 75 % of animal protein and in some areas of the country aquatic resources make up 80 % of the available animal protein. Overall, fish consumption is estimated to be around 63 kg/caput/year (FiA, 2013) (whole fish equivalent) and is many times greater than the global average, reflecting the importance of the fisheries sector to the diet and culture of Cambodian people.
The application of culture-based fisheries in Cambodian waters commenced with the initiation of a project under the auspices of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR Project FIS/2011/013), coordinated by NACA. For the initial trial, 16 small reservoirs located in four provinces were selected. These reservoirs differed from each other in surface area, mean depth and the catchment land use features, the latter evaluated using GIS software. In choosing the reservoirs, initial consultations with the village communities responsible for the water regime management were held and their agreement obtained for monitoring and cooperating through the trial period. One common feature in all the reservoirs selected, and for that matter in all water bodies in Cambodia, is the provision of a “conservation zone”, generally in the deeper areas of the water body, where fishing is prohibited.
Culture-based fisheries are a form of aquaculture that utilise small water bodies, both perennial and non-perennial, which cannot support a fishery through natural recruitment processes, for food fish production through a stock-recapture strategy. Culture-based fisheries are environmentally friendly as the only external input is seed stock. It also engages a co-management approach utilising the downstream farming communities in most instances already organised into functional entities for dry land agriculture as the principal beneficiaries (De Silva 2003). Culture-based fisheries are an attractive development strategy as it mobilises dry land farming communities (e.g. rice farmers) to use existing water bodies for the secondary purpose of food fish production. The strategies to optimise benefits from culture-based fisheries, however, vary in detail from country to country and across climatic regimes.
Culture-based fisheries activities were conducted over two growth cycles and in all instances the fish production increased above the levels that were obtained prior to the implementation of culture-based fisheries. In this presentation the stocking strategies and the yields obtained are presented. It is believed, however, the yields could be further enhanced by utilisation of the conservation as nursery areas which will be dealt with in a separate presentation.
Peter Edwards writes on rural aquaculture: Pond aquaculture taking off in Nepal
Introduction of culture based fishery practices in small water bodies in Cambodia: issues and strategies
Srun Limsong, Hort Sitha, Ou Sary, Ouch Vutha, C.V. Mohan, Sena S. De Silva
Research and farming techniques
A case study on polycheate fishery by the Irular tribal fishing community on the Tamil Nadu Coast
S. Velvizhi, A.Gopalakrishnan, P. Murugesan and D. Kannan
Use of pangasius pond sediment for rooftop bag gardening: Potential for rural-urban integrated aquaculture-horticulture
M. Mahfujul Haque, M. S. Monira, M. A. Salam, A. P. Shinn and D. C. Little