Information on fisheries resources in Bangladesh and S.E. Asia is fragmented and has not taken account of poor people and their livelihoods. Systems approaches have considered impacts at the ecosystems and production system level, rather than the household level. The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework is the most obvious manifestation of this systems approach at the household level, and has been used as far as possible to integrate the data.
The role of aquatic resources in rural livelihoods is characterised by diversity in the resource, habitat and environment, and in the resource users and the ways in which they exploit these resources. Understanding this diversity and the inter-relationship between different parts of what are wider socio-agroecological systems is critical to understanding threats to resources and livelihoods and to achieving their sustainability. Thus while the report primarily deals with the livelihoods of those who have some dependence on the fisheries, it also seeks to place these in the context of rural livelihoods in general and the pressures and trends that are taking place in relation to them.
The project has reviewed relevant secondary data in the four study countries, and consulted with intermediate and secondary stakeholders. It has also carried out field research with primary stakeholders to prioritise constraints and identify possible research priorities. That data is contained in four Country Status Reports and four Country PRA Reports.
This synthesis report is based primarily on information contained in the above reports together with some additional material available to the author. The country status reports are syntheses of secondary information while the PRA reports contain information derived from fieldwork with primary stakeholder groups at different fisheries-related locations in-country.
FMSP, DFID, London, UK, 188 pp.