Protecting the marine resources


Coastal and marine areas in Myanmar are 2,831 kilometers long, from the mouth of Naf River in Rakhine State to Kawthoung, Taninthayi Region, where Myanmar borders Thailand. Offshore shallows cover about 225,000 square kilometers and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers about 486,000 square kilometers.
Myanmar’s coast is home to a variety of fish, reptiles, birds, crustaceans and other marine life.
There are unique ecosystems in Myanmar and the invaluable coastal ecosystem is facing a serious crisis. Our aquatic resources have declined compared with previous decades due to overpopulation and over extraction, short-term oriented practices, using land with unsustainable practices, and inadequate knowledge of socio-economic benefits from coastal ecosystems, and insufficient implementation of laws and regulations.
Development of illegal fish farming utilising inappropriate methods and banned fishing nets, climate change and a decrease of mangroves wasblow to the declining fisheries resources.
This is the reason the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) process has been adopted in finding solutions to the aforementioned issues.
To conserve the marine resources, the government is working on updating the Fish Breeding Laws, the Myanmar Marine Fisheries Law and the Foreign Fishing Enterprise Approval Law to be relevant to the current times.
No-fishing zones and periods have been designated in the mating season of marine life to ensure marine resources are not depleted and to increase the reproduction of marine life.
Coastal natural resource management and administration include working for the sustainability and protection of fish resources, a type of marine resource which is managed by the Department of Fisheries.
The department ensures there is enough fish supply, food safety, and sustainable fishery development, in accordance with a policy that adheres to the law.
According to research, fishing areas located in the northeast of Ayeyawady Region have been recognised as nursery grounds and nursery regions of fish as there are numerous larva of different fish species.
But we should not turn a blind eye to the fact that coral reefs have been severely damaged in some fishing localities in our coastal areas.
It means climate change is damaging the ecosystem and the bio-species in marine and coastal region, resulting in declining production of fish, according to marine experts.
The situation demands conducting aquatic research works systematically and consistently to conserve the ecosystem and for the development of the fisheries sector.

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