Operationalizing fisheries co-management:  Lessons learned from lagoon fisheries co-management in Thua Thien Hue Province, Viet Nam


Operationalizing fisheries co-management: Lessons learned from lagoon fisheries co-management in Thua Thien Hue Province, Viet Nam

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok 2012


The Tam GiangCau Hai Lagoon is located in Thua Thien Hue Province in central Viet Nam. It is the largest lagoon system in Southeast Asia and extends about 70 km along the coast with a surface area of about 22 000 ha. The unique natural landscape of the lagoon shore provides diverse niches to various unique aquatic animals and plants. To date, over 200 species of fish have been identified in the lagoon. As a result of its size and richness in natural resources, the lagoon constitutes an important livelihood source for the local people living along the coast. Since the 1990s, the lagoon has undergone rapid ecological and resource deterioration because of increasing fishing pressure and aquaculture development. With declining lagoon resources and an increasing number of fishing gears and aquaculture facilities that limit the available water surface of the lagoon, the number of conflicts among resource users has been increasing. In August 2005 the Integrated Management of Lagoon Activities in Thua Thien Hue Province Project (IMOLA) was started to assist the provincial government in lagoon management. This publication reports on the experience gained from IMOLA including key lessons and recommendations for policy-makers and practitioners in fisheries co-management operationalization.

Table of Contents

About the authors
Executive summary
Abbreviations and acronyms
    The lagoon and its resources
    The lagoon and its people
    Lagoon fisheries and its challenges
    Need for lagoon co-management
    Institutional background
    Policy context
    Integrated Management of Lagoon Activities in Thua Thien Hue Province Project
    Other projects working on lagoon fisheries co-management
Preparatory stage
    Screening target communes for co-management support
    Assessing co-management feasibility in potential target communes
    Deciding the target communes for lagoon co-management
    Checking the initial status of FAs in selected communes
    Training of the project technical staff
    Understanding the lagoon environment and fisheries
    Fixed fishing gear mapping
    Pond aquaculture mapping and survey
Inception stage
    Steps towards establishment and strengthening of FAs
    Mobilizing resource users: determining the appropriate size of an FA
    Establishing an FA mobilization group for kick-off
    Raising awareness of resource users: bringing the people into the management
    Preparing an FA charter: setting up the rules for the FA
    Creating the organizational structure: establishing an executive board, checking
        body and subgroups
    Formalizing the FA: legal establishment of the FA
    Establishing communication channels: organizing small and large meetings and
        the congress
    Enhancing community solidarity: organizing traditional fisherfolk festivals and
        community events
Planning stage
    TURF-based lagoon fisheries co-management
    Timeframe required for co-management planning
    Sharing and analysing challenges: developing resource management strategies
    Demarcating water surface areas and allocating them to the FAs: the first step
        out of open-access
    Establishing a zoning plan
    Developing resource management regulations
    Developing a user fee system and economic activities of the FA
    Establishing a co-management body and a network of associations
    Establishing a water surface patrolling team
    Creating a conflict management mechanism
    Enhancing the roles of supporting institutions
    Allocating fishing rights from the government to the FA
Implementation stage
    registering resource users, fishing gears, and aquaculture facilities and
        collecting fees
    Organizing water surface patrolling and conflict management
    Reduction and rearrangement of fishing gears
    Protecting the environment and enhancing the fish stock
    Running economic activities of FAs
Monitoring and evaluation stage
    Developing process, input and output indicators
    Deciding the M&E framework and schedules
    Conducting M&E and facilitating feedback to the stakeholders
A way forward
    Recognizing and rewarding the process
    Assessment of impacts at the output level
    Adaptive approach
    Institutionalizing support to FAs and co-management for sustainability
    Streamlining the legal system to support co-management
    Recommendations for further promotion of fisheries co-management in Viet Nam
Bibliography and references
    Procedures for establishing and strengthening new local fisheries associations
    Procedures for strengthening existing local fisheries associations
    Sample table of contents of the fishing rights allocation document

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The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-107161-8

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