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Enhancing sustainable fish farming in Myanmar

Fish farming is an important livelihood in Myanmar. The country is blessed with an abundance of water bodies that provide habitats for a rich diversity of marine species. However, fish farming and other forms of aquaculture are not widely practiced. Where ponds exist, fish are often small, underpopulated and unhealthy to consume. This is caused by a lack of knowledge on proper maintenance of fish farms and unsustainable practices in aquaculture. Moreover, local fish farmers are often poor and cannot afford the necessary technical equipment needed to develop their farms for more fish production.

Malteser International is working to improve food security and livelihoods for communities in Shan State, Myanmar by making fish farming and aquaculture more sustainable.

Myanmar has an impressive coastline of nearly 2,000 kilometers. Its inland waters are made up of several large estuaries and delta systems as well as permanent and seasonal freshwater bodies that total 82,000 kilometers. Fisheries and aquaculture account for the main source of animal protein and micronutrients in domestic diets. The sector also directly employs around 3 million people.

Myanmar's rich aquatic resources offer many export opportunities for the economy and while creating new jobs. However, unsustainable management of fisheries has led to a rapid depletion of aquatic species over the past decades. This significantly threatens both nutrition and income particularly in rural areas where most of the country's population live. Myanmar also has one of the world's largest number of chronically malnourished children under the age of five. The Government of Myanmar has therefore prioritized the development of aquaculture, recently launching a large-scale campaign to tackle malnutrition.

  • We are supporting a more sustainable approach in the aquaculture sector, thereby realizing its potential for food security and income generation.
  • We are enhancing the capacity of fisheries to increase production and improve the nutritional value of fish in areas where the fish count has been depleted.
  • We are providing improved aquaculture technologies and management practices for 250 direct households. Each household receives a pond that holds water for at least six months or/and a rice plot suitable for modification for rice-fish culture.
  • We are establishing and training aquaculture groups.
  • Our mobile support application delivers direct extension and training messages to beneficiaries.

Country info

Capital: Naypyidaw
Area: 676,578 km²
Population: c. 51.5 Million

Project data

Project duration: since August 2018
Financial support: World Fish and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (giz)
Partners: Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation

Last updated: January 2019

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