A Danish-funded project in the central province Thua Thien-Hue has successfully increased the participation of local fishermen in protecting Tam Giang lagoon.

The 600 million VND (nearly 28,600 USD) project, funded by the Danish Government’s Public Participation and Accountability Facilitation Fund, has been implemented in Quang Thai and Quang Loi communes since early 2014.

Quang Thai and Quang Loi are home to more than 890 households who earn their living on fishing and aquaculture on 1,500ha of the lagoon.

So far, the project has run seven training courses to improve local residents’ techniques in fishing, aquaculture, and the protection of fisheries resources.

It has also provided local residents with financial support to make 20 fish cages and five fish sanctuaries which serve as habitats for aquatic species to settle and reproduce.

Nguyen Bon, a fisherman in Quang Loi, said on the same water surface area he can now earn more than 10 million VND (over 476 USD) in two fishing seasons each year, which has tripled compared to traditional methods.

Project Director Tran Giai, Vice Chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue Union of Science and Technology Associations, said fish cages and sanctuaries could triple residents’ income and minimise the negative impacts on the environment.

The success of this project is a model for a sustainable development in the area.

Tam Giang lagoon is part of the Tam Giang-Cau Hai lagoon system, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, stretching nearly 70km with more than 22,000ha of water surface. 30 percent of the province’s population rely on the lagoon for their livelihoods.-VNA