Socioeconomic characteristics of hilsa fishers in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar Opportunities and challenges

The Darwin-Hilsa project is developing an incentive-based system of hilsa fisheries management in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta. This study uses a mixed-methods approach to assess the socioeconomic status of local fishing households. Many are extremely vulnerable, owing to the seasonal nature of fishing and unpredictable flows of income. Coping strategies include informal loans, livelihood diversification, and migration, while many flout fishing restrictions to cover costs and repay loans. Given these household characteristics, we recommend monetary or in-kind incentives for compliance with regulations, more inclusive access to suitable financial products, skills training and small business investment, more co-management institutions, and awareness-raising campaigns.