Carrots and Sticks: Incentives to Conserve Hilsa Fish in Myanmar

The objective of this project is to design a cost-effective, scientifically researched and participatory 'incentive-based' hilsa fishery management mechanism for Myanmar. The project will employ the ecosystem-based approach (EbA) in its information gathering, analysis, decision-making and management objectives.


  1. Understanding the biology and ecology of the hilsa fishery to determine a no-take season and zone for hilsa fishing.
  2. Understanding the complex socioeconomics of hilsa fishing: conduct a large-scale household questionnaire survey to map livelihood options in fisher communities affected by fishing restrictions and determine the level of incentive packages required to offset the short-term cost (opportunity cost) of abiding by fishing regulations.
  3. Making a business case for investment in hilsa management: to make a compelling business case as to why the government and the private sector should make sufficient investments to restore the fishery, we will estimate the economic value of the hilsa fishery.
  4. Developing a sustainable financing mechanism: to ensure fishers do not return to unsustainable practices.
  5. Transboundary learning: hilsa is a resource shared between Myanmar and Bangladesh, making transboundary learning and cooperation crucial.