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In accordance with a request from the Government of Burma for assistance in the development of fish culture and training of personnel, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations under the United Nations Development Programme (Technical Assistance Sector) appointed Dr. H. Chaudhuri as Inland Fishery Biologist. Dr. Chaudhuri carried out his assignment in Burma from May 1967 to December 1970. His terms of reference were to advise and assist the Government of Burma in increasing and improving the production of cultivable food fish, through the evaluation and conduct of experiments, institution of fish cultural and management procedures, development of fish farms, the training of local workers and other related duties.

1.1 Background information

With a view to developing the inland fisheries and fish culture in Burma, the Government of Burma sought technical assistance from FAO twice in the fifties. The first expert, Dr. S.W. Ling, had a short term assignment in 1954. He made a reconnaisance survey of the inland fisheries of Burma so as to determine the possibilities of its development and reported on his mission (Ling (1955), TA 361). The second FAO mission to Burma was made in 1955–56, when Mr. J.A. Tubb was assigned to formulate a more detailed plan for the utilization and development of the inland fishery resources. His mission is described in FAO/UN Report (1957), TA 776.

Subsequent to these two missions, the Government of Burma made a further request to FAO for technical assistance in induced breeding of fish during 1966, for a period of three months. Dr. H. Chaudhuri, Senior Research Officer and In-charge, Central Inland Fisheries Research Sub-station, Government of India at Cuttack, India, was selected for the short term assignment. The report of the mission is contained in FAO/UNDP (1967), TA 2298. He was also directed to make an appraisal of the status of fish culture in Burma and to formulate a programme of work for a fish culturist whose services had been requested by the Government of Burma for a period of two years.

The present project originated as described above and the expert was reassigned to the new programme as the Inland Fishery Biologist (Fish Culture).

1.2 Development of the Project

The expert took up his assignment on 3 May 1967 and arrived at Rangoon, Burma, on 13 May 1967 after briefing at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. Upon arrival he re-established his contacts with officials of the Ministry of National Planning, Directorate of Fisheries and the UNDP Office. Rangoon was designated as the expert's duty station. The Directorate of Fisheries stressed the need to solve the most pressing problem of fish culture in the country, namely the dearth of quality fish seed and requested the expert to give top priority to this important problem. A programme of work was drawn up in consultation with the Director of Fisheries to meet the needs indicated.

U Hla Tin, Fishery Officer, Directorate of Fisheries, was assigned as the full-time counterpart assistant to the expert and worked with him until the time of the expert's departure. The following four officers were also designated as full-time counterpart assistants and they carried out their duties until the end of the fish breeding season in 1967.

  1. U Hla Win, Assistant Fishery Officer, Directorate of Fisheries (DF)

  2. U Than, Fisheries Supervisor II, People's Pearl and Fishery Board (PPFB)

  3. U Tin Mya, Fisheries Supervisor II, (PPFB)

  4. U Kyaw Tint Aung, Assistant Fishery Officer (DF)

Toward the end of the fish breeding season U Hla Win was selected by the Government of Burma for training in fisheries for two years in the Central Institute for Fisheries Education at Bombay, India and withdrew from the project. In addition to the above-mentioned assistants, the following officers of the Directorate of Fisheries were also temporarily on the expert's staff. They assisted on several occasions especially during the breeding season.

  1. U Aung Myat Kyaw, Fishery Officer

  2. U Tun Hlaing, Assistant Fishery Officer

  3. Daw Tin Tin Myint, Assistant Fishery Officer

  4. U Khin Maung Win, Supervisor

  5. U Khin Zaw, Supervisor

U Than and U Tin Mya of PPFB also worked with the expert in the subsequent fish breeding seasons of 1968 and 1969 when the expert was conducting fish breeding experiments at the PPFB Twante fish farm.

Throughout the assignment, the expert's fieldwork was centred around the Hlawga Fish Culture Station but occasional field trips were also made to other fish farms. He visited Government fish farms and inland fishery stations, carp spawn, fry and fingerling collection centres in the river Irrawaddy and its tributaries and branches in upper, central and lower Burma. He also surveyed suitable sites for the establishment of fish farms and visited private fish farms for suggesting corrective measures to improve pisciculture as well as for the collection of data on fish culture operations.

At the request of the State Council of Kayah State, the expert visited Kayah State accompanied by U Win Htin, Fishery Officer, to study the present status of fish culture for the purpose of advising the State Council in the development of fish culture and also for selecting a suitable site for the establishment of a model fish farm near Loikaw, the headquarters of the State. An interim report on the visit, including recommendations, was submitted by the expert to the Government.

The expert was selected to participate as a lecturer in the FAO Seminar on “Genetic Selection and Hybridization of Cultivated Fishes”, held in the USSR from 19 April to 29 May 1968. He left Burma on 23 April 1968 and returned to Rangoon on 13 June 1968 after briefing in Rome Headquarters. From 5 to 11 May 1969 he attended the symposium on “Fresh and Brackish Water Productivity”, held at Kuala Lumpur.

The expert left Burma on 12 December 1970 and proceeded to FAO Headquarters in Rome for debriefing. His assignment terminated on 31 December 1970.

1.3 Acknowledgements

FAO is greatly indebted to the many people who collaborated with the expert during his assignment, and who offered their helpful advice and assistance and especially to the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Ministry of National Planning of the Union of Burma for their unfailing support. Particular acknowledgement is made to U Tint Hlaing, Director of Fisheries for his constant help and cooperation in the implementation of the fish culture project, and to U Hla Tin, counterpart of the expert, for his valuable assistance. FAO is also indebted to all the officers and field staff of the Directorate of Fisheries and the People's Pearl and Fishery Board, Burma, who collaborated with the expert and helped him during his assignment.

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