A pilot community-based coastal fishery resources management model, in which authorities and communities share management responsibility, has been implemented in central Quang Nam province with encouraging initial results.

The model has been jointly deployed since September, 2012, by the Regional Fishery Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP) and the Cu Lao Cham Sea Reserve Management Board in Quang Nam ’s coastal communes, namely Duy Hai in Duy Xuyen district, Binh Hai in Thang Binh district and Tam Tien in Nui Thanh district.

The model initially established an area under the communes’ co-management as well as subjects, methods and criteria of management. The co-management boards also set up operating protocols and assigned tasks to their members.

According to Chu Manh Trinh, an expert from the Cu Lao Cham Sea Reserve Management Board, the model involves fishermen in the management, exploitation and protection of fishery resources. In particular, protected waters and fisheries will ensure fishing resources, raising their income and living standards. Besides, authorities will have more force and power to protect the country’s waters, enforce laws and regulations.

To supervise fishermen’s fishing activities, the Cu Lao Cham Sea Reserve Management Board and co-management boards in the communes set up “trip diaries” to collect information about boats, fishing equipment and fishing output in the waters under their co-management. This gives relevant sides a monthly review of their fishery resources to work out suitable measures to protect them.

Hoang Thanh Hung, head of the co-management board of Binh Hai commune, said that in the past, illegal fishing was common in the locality. Some fishermen even used destructive practices such as explosives, electricity, poison and small mesh netting, which damaged the environment and fishery resources.

After taking part in the co-management programme, they have tried to protect coastal waters, and timely discovered and prevented illegal fishing practices, he added.

According to the Cu Lao Cham Sea Reserve Management Board, the model of fishery resources co-management in Tam Tien, Binh Hai and Duy Hai has helped expand the protected area in Quang Nam .

By the end of 2012, the province’s total reserve was about 552 square kilometers (or 17 percent of Quang Nam ’s 3,000 square kilometers of coastal waters), including 300 square kilometers of the three communes.

In the coming time, if the co-management model is applied to the six coastal districts and cities of Quang Nam, the protection of coastal fishery resources will be more effective and ensure sustainable fishery exploitation.-VNA