Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are collaborating through the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) Project to better the lives of their coastal populations by improving regional management of the Bay of Bengal environment and its fisheries.

Video: Hilsa fisheries management in Bangladesh

Click to watch video
Click to watch video
July 2014 - Hilsa is the national fish of Bangladesh, providing sustenance and generating income and employment for millions of people. However, hilsa stocks are under pressure from overfishing, pollution and loss of essential habitats. The Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) in collaboration with the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) Project has produced a video highlighting the importance of hilsa, its lifecycle and the integrated regional management measures being put into place to help ensure its sustainability.

BOBLME takes the stress out of fisheries management

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June 2014 - BOBLME project made its presence known at the recent Committee on Fisheries (COFI) meetings held at FAO's Rome headquarters 9-13 June. Recognizing the pressure and worry that comes from trying to effectively manage fisheries, BOBLME handed out its hugely popular stress balls to COFI participants. BOBLME staff also took the opportunity to promote the recently launched Essential EAFM training course to visitors from around the world which when put to use should also help lead to more stress-free and effective fisheries management!

A new ecosystem training course to improve management of fisheries in the Asia-Pacific Region

Honolulu, United States and Bangkok, Thailand – 10 June 2014 – A training course which contributes to more practical and effective management of fisheries in Asia and the Pacific was launched today by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
 
For more click here.

Progress and achievements of the BOBLME Project

As it enters its final year the BOBLME Project has successfully carried out a wide range of activities as it seeks to facilitate greater regional management of the Bay of Bengal's environment and fisheries. A publication listing all key achievements to date can be downloaded here.

Community relations key to improved Thai MPA management

March 2014 - How to gain better local buy-in for national marine parks in Thailand? A policy brief released by Project IMPAACT, which is supported by BOBLME, highlights how negative community perceptions undermine conservation and management processes. The policy brief provides a number of recommendations for improving Marine Protected Area (MPA) effectiveness, governance and management and can be downloaded here.
 
The full research paper on which the policy brief is based ‘Why local people do not support conservation: Community perceptions of marine protected area livelihood impacts, governance and management in Thailand’ can be downloaded here.

A little something for everyone - the BOBLME newsletter is out now

January 2014 - The BOBLME newsletter covering 2013 is now out. Eleven pages of action packed articles on what BOBLME and partners are doing around the region, including:
 
  • Seagrass research and training
  • Harmonising Indian mackerel research
  • EAFM training course launched
  • Report on the Nansen cruise in Myanmar
  • Chilika Lake ecosystem health report card
  • Vulnerability assessment in the Ayeyarwady Delta
  • BOBLME supporting ocean acidification research
  • BOBLME gender assessment

 
Download your copy now, here.

Myanmar staff learn ‘SocMon’ skills

January 2014 - The capacity of staff from Myanmar universities, government departments and NGOs to better understand the socio-economic circumstances of coastal communities was boosted recently. A BOBLME-initiated, 10-day training course, organized in collaboration with Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and Mawlamyine University saw participants develop 'Socio-economic Monitoring' or 'SocMon' skills. These skills will lead to more informed decision making when applying the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management. For more click here.

Norwegian research vessel sheds light on Myanmar marine resources

November 2013 – A scientific survey is underway on the fish resources, marine biodiversity and oceanography of Myanmar waters by the Norwegian research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen, operating within the framework of the FAO EAF-Nansen Project and BOBLME. The survey will massively improve the understanding of the status of the marine resources, and provide information essential for informed management and sustainability of Myanmar's marine resources for years to come. For more click here.

BOBLME India opens its ICM Resource Centre in Puducherry

BOBLME India opens its ICM Resource Centre in Puducherry
October 2013 - The Honourable Minister for Fisheries, Shri N G Pannir Selvam from the Government of Puducherry (pictured in the centre) opened the new BOBLME Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Resource Centre in Puducherry on 4 October. Read more...The opening was attended by about 50 people, including the local fishing community as well as officials from the Department of Fisheries, the BOBLME Regional Coordinator Dr Chris O’Brien (pictured right) and the National Coordinator Dr K Vijayakumaran (pictured left). Dignitaries lit the auspicious lamp before declaring the facility as the knowledge hub for ICM activities in Puducherry.
 
BOBLME-India has been implementing a programme of work on ICM for several years. Led by Dr Vijayakumaran, this initiative is working with the community, administration and stakeholders to promote ICM approaches in Puducherry - a district of just 293 km² located on the east coast of India, just south of Chennai. Puducherry is small in area but is home to over 1.3 million people, so the pressure on coastal resources is considerable.
 
The Department of Fisheries and Fishermen Welfare is hosting the ICM Resource Centre at its new offices in the local fishing harbour complex. The centre will enable ICM practitioners to meet in comfortable modern surroundings and is equipped with a computer with internet access and a printer; and it already boasts a good collection of literature - with subscriptions to a range of journals. Collapse

BOBLME gender report gets special recognition

August 2013 — The BOBLME Project Report on Mainstreaming Gender in the BOBLME Project: gender audit and recommended actions for mainstreaming a gender perspective by Dr Cecile Brugere has been featured on the highly influential Genderaquafish website. The BOBLME Project Regional Coordinator, Dr Chris O'Brien, said that this is probably the first gender audit undertaken by any of the 20 or so Large Marine Ecosystem Project's in the world, and it was great to get such recognition from Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries community. The Genderaquafish website is run by the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries community which is devoted to the exchange of information on gender in aquaculture and fisheries from all parts of the world. You can access the website and the report from here.

Myanmar Department of Fisheries to the Rescue

July 2013 — BOBLME Myanmar National Coordinator, Mr Mya Than Tun turned detective recently when an oceanographic data buoy broke its mooring and started an unexpected journey to Myanmar. Following his good work, fisheries officers were able to locate the buoy at the Myeik Fishing Jetty after it had apparently been rescued by a local fishing boat. It is hoped that the wayward unit will be back in service soon. For more click here.

Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) training course successfully put to the test

July 2013 – The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) training course developed by BOBLME and its partners enjoyed a successful trial run in Malaysia recently. More than 30 trainees, candidate trainers and EAFM experts took part, testing the training materials in a realistic setting so they could be fine-tuned and finalized. For more click here.