Report on Investigation of Priorities for Fishing Closed Areas/Seasons in Kien Giang
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The criteria described above can be applied in many different ways to the problem of selecting reserves. Some managers have developed a method of applying the full set of criteria in a process aimed at evaluating candidate reserves in the context of their contribution to larger scale networks. They argue that networking will enhance the performance of individual reserves, and that networks are essential to maintain the largescale ecological processes that underpin ecosystem functioning in the sea. However, it should also be dependent on specific cases to apply specific rules to select fishing restriction areas/seasons as in KienGiang province. Of course, in this case it is necessary that the selected criteria can be integrated with social criteria to choose locations for fully protected zones within a large multiple use protected areas/seasons. There is still possibility to take an alternate tack on developing the criteria into a series of rules of thumb to simplify reserve selection. Focusing on which criteria must considerably be paid attention in the first stage and balancing between ecosystem and human well‐being and, other socioeconomic concerns should be considered in the development of fishing restriction areas/seasons. Then the above mentioned criteria can be usedto help facilitate decisions by revealing whether candidate sites possess biological attributes that will enable them to meet management objectives in KienGiang’s waters. An optimal fisheries management perspective is to meet three economic, social, and ecological constraints. However, the scenario that combines economic, social, and ecological constraints in an ecosystem‐based fisheries management approach is a challenge. There are usually trade‐offs between conservation (ecological) and socioeconomic objectives in fisheries management of tropical marine ecosystems with multispecies and multi‐gear perspectives (Cheung and Sumaila 2008). From a conservationist’s perspective, pursuing ecological objectives, such as maintaining biodiversity and natural resources, is necessary (Agardy 2000). However, from a typical artisanal or small‐scale fisher’s perspective as in Vietnam, sustaining ecosystem dynamics may be less important than ensuring basic daily food requirements (Bacalso et al. 2013). Therefore, it is necessary to identify priority fisheries management objectives that are practicable and suitable in the relevant context. In this report, we recommended some important criteria to set up fishing close areas/seasons in Vietnam. However, it is noted that there may be variations on application to each specific case based on natural resource conditions, institutional arrangements, and fishing communities around such areas. It is noted that existing legal legislations on fishing close seasons/areas are quite sufficient, however the implementation of these legal legislations is weak and not fully complied by fishing communities. One of the main reasons to blame for this shortcoming is that existing legal frameworks are based mostly on top‐down control management regimes. There were few if not no roles of stakeholders in developing and implementing 22 the existing legal legislations. One of the good lessons learnt from successful sites on their fisheries management is to apply holistic fisheries management approaches such as ecosystem‐based approach, co‐management, and integrated fisheries management approach. These holistic approaches can balance human well‐being and ecological wellbeing and can fairly combine different aspects on fisheries management such as ecological, social and economic constraints. Therefore, it is recommended that legal framework development and implementation processes of Vietnam in general and KienGiang in particular need to be considered following matters: • In the development and implementation of legal frameworks, effective participation of main stakeholders is required at certain level of empowerment. • Effective management regimes require a departure from thinking about the role of local, regional and national levels and considers the political changes that are necessary for power devolution. • Local engagement, ownership and control, when embedded into a system of institutions that delegate power and are truly interactive, is a key principle in facilitating successful management. • Management arrangements must go beyond consultation by redirecting social and economic benefits from the fishery back into communities. Unless geographically defined communities are allowed to share power and responsibility with government managers, both fish stocks and fishing as a way of life could be at risk In addition, fishing operations of coastal and near‐shore fisheries is commonly considered to be over‐capacity (Anh et al. 2014) and impacts of fishing causing degradation on functioning and structure of coastal ecosystem are obviously. There are also increasing levels of conflict between small and large fishing vessels and this is due to lack of enforcement of regulations to remove larger vessels fishing in inshore waters, although there has been legislations to prohibit the large vessel fishing in the coastal areas (Vietnamese Government 2010). The near‐shore waters are considered over‐fished, causing challenges for local fishing communities. Various approaches for managing over‐capacity have been tried without success in the past in Vietnam. For example, buyback schemes for small‐scale fishers have been tried in several locations in Vietnam. Legal legislations to temporally or permanently prohibit fishing activities in some areas have been adopted (MOFI 2006; MARD 2011). However, the implementation of these legally bindingdocuments is either weak or lack of fully compliance of fishing communities. These are because the existing legal frameworks were only based on top‐down control management regimes with forcing from management 23 agencies without involving relevant stakeholders on developing and implementing the legislations (Pomeroy et al. 2009). Given these realities, the only feasible solution may be one based on a coordinated and integrated approach involving a mixed strategy of resource management (access control and property rights); resource restoration; economic and community development (linkages of coastal communities to regional and national economic development), including poverty reduction and livelihoods; and new governance arrangements (co‐management or ecosystem‐based management). Thus, in practical terms, reduction of over‐capacity of Vietnamese fisheries in general and trawl fisheries in particular must consider an increased focus on people‐related solutions and on communities. This approach finds solutions to the problem of over‐capacity in both the fishery sector and non‐fishery economic sectors. This approach recognizes that any policies that reduce the number of fishers in small‐scale fisheries without creating non fishery livelihood opportunities will inevitably fail. This is because fishers will merely fish illegally, obtain a new boat and gear, or do whatever else is necessary to continue to make a living in order to feed their family. It is necessary to give trawl fishery fishers and their families a broader range of livelihood options to support exiting from the fishery and to reduce the household’s economic dependence on the fishery. However, this approach requires strong inter‐ministerial and national and provincial and district government linkages to ensure coordination and cooperation for planning and implementation.
Report on Investigation of Priorities for Fishing Closed Areas/Seasons in Kien Giang. (2014). Samut Prakarn: Training Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center.
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