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In all, RFLP launched or supported around 40 different livelihoods initiatives with fisher communities across all six participating countries in order to diversify or strengthen income opportunities for fisher families without increasing pressure on natural resources. Communities played a major role in the assessment and selection of livelihoods options. Pilots included both fisheries and non-fisheries activities ranging from fish sauce and backyard catfish raising to chicken raising and handicrafts. RFLP also helped develop marketing strategies for products and services while also providing support to the formation and/or strengthening of producers associations as well as providing training.

RFLP experience revealed the importance of not viewing or perceiving livelihoods for fisher communities through a narrow ‘fisheries’ perspective (e.g. aquaculture, dried fish, etc.). In all RFLP countries except Timor-Leste (where livelihoods community-level interventions did not take place) there was very strong demand for non-fisheries livelihoods. In general, livelihoods initiatives identified by communities and supported by RFLP were also supplementary livelihoods rather than alternative livelihoods. In other words, fishers were not giving up fishing to do something new. Rather (usually) their wives were carrying out new livelihoods activities to generate additional cash income for the family.

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