Fish is one of the most important sources of animal protein and micronutrients in Myanmar with average consumption levels estimated to be 30 kg/person/year. However, with significant levels of malnutrition in the country, these figures are likely to hide a large diversity of consumption patterns.

The fisheries sector in Myanmar provides employment to 3.2 million people with inland and marine fisheries making up nearly 78 percent of Myanmar’s fish production. Aquaculture has grown significantly in the past decade, now responsible for 22 percent of annual fish production. The contribution of aquaculture to total fish consumption remains low compared to neighboring Thailand (80 percent) and Bangladesh (55 percent), indicating the relative importance of capture fisheries, and potential for future growth of the sector.

We are working with the Government of Myanmar and other partners to create a policy environment to improve fisheries management and capture more economic, social and environmental benefits for the long term.

Our integrated research and development program is endorsed by the government and also seeks to unlock the potential for growth in aquaculture. Scaling-up smallholder aquaculture can bring benefits like better incomes, nutrition and health.

Strengthening fisheries governance is another important objective which will require the development of new policies, laws, better management practices and institutional arrangements that secure rights for small-scale fishers and can balance ecological and human needs.

Current Priorities / Initiatives

  • Developing small-scale aquaculture, including stimulating growth of small- and medium-size aquaculture enterprises.
  • Managing a genetic improvement program for genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT) and rohu carp.
  • Increasing availability, access and consumption of micronutrient-rich small indigenous fish and vegetables.
  • Improving Myanmar’s food basket through integrated rice-fish production.
  • Strengthening the involvement of women, small-scale farmers, entrepreneurs and marginal groups in the domestic fish market.
  • Recommending policies and legal reform based on research results for sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture growth.
  • Maximizing sustainable fish production in small-scale fisheries with equitable benefits to fish-dependent communities.
  • Assessing the impact of fishery management on fish production, incomes, biodiversity, food security, human nutrition and gender equity.

Anticipated Impacts by 2022

  • 0.45M producer households adopt improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health and aquaculture and fisheries management practices
  • 0.40M people, of which at least 50 percent are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains
  • 0.12M people, of which 50 percent are women, are without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12
  • 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 10 percent increase in water and nutrient use efficiency in 0.34 million tons of fish per annum
  • 0.35M more women of reproductive age are consuming an adequate number of food groups
  • 0.47M hectares of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of small-scale fisheries resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds