Past efforts to increase the productivity of seasonal floodplains have focused primarily on increasing water productivity during the dry season, when farmers are able to plant food crops. This project looked at how to increase floodplain productivity during the wet season through the use of community-based fish culture (CBFC). A community fishers’ society in Beel Mail, Bangladesh was able to enter into a leasing arrangement with the support of local authorities. With the introduction of CBFC, households have learned to work together to manage fish culture activities and to protect the stock. A benefit sharing arrangement was agreed on, according to which landowners and fishers both receive a share of the net benefit from CBFC.
CBFC enabled them to produce 400 kilograms of fish per hectare, or an increase of 133% from the baseline production. Not only did volume of fish increase, but so did length of the harvests: traditional fishers, the landless and the poor were able to harvest fish over a longer period of time than prior to the intervention, obtaining higher incomes from fish harvests.
Anon. Opportunity in Adversity: Collective Fish Culture in the Seasonal Floodplains of Bangladesh. The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, Sri Lanka (2013) 3 pp.