Fisheries in Myanmar’s Economy

 The fishery sector is considered as the most important one after the agri- culture sector to   fulfill the protein requirement of the people of Myanmar and to provide the food security as well as to get the opportunity for the employment to a large number of fishery   communities and rural dwellers. Moreover, fish is second only to rice in the Myanmar diet.

Myanmar is endowed with rich natural resources both in freshwater and

marine    fisheries.  Nowadays,  the  increasing  pressures  from  industrial  and urban development and increased demand for fish and fishery products owing to population growth as well as global climate change can cause for damage to degradation of ecosystems including fisheries resources.

 States of Fisheries

 In 2017-2018 fiscal year, the total production of fish was 5.87 million metric tons in Myanmar. In this period, the production of freshwater fish was

2.72million metric tons (46% of the total fish production) and the production of marine fish was 3.15 million metric tons (54% of the total production of fish in Myanmar).

 The exported amount of fish and fishery product was (0.57) million  metric tons and the value of which was (711.72) million in US$ in 2017-2018. It was exported to ( 46 ) different  countries. The exported amount was (10%) of the total production of fish in Myanmar in this period, 2017-2018.


Type of Fisheries in Myanmar

 The type of fisheries in Myanmar is determined by nature of catch. It can be classified into freshwater fisheries and marine fisheries. Freshwater   fisheries consists of (a) aquaculture, (b) leasable, (c) open fisheries. Marine fisheries include (a) inshore fisheries and (b) off-shore fisheries.

In the inshore fisheries, the fishing boats operate within from shoreline to (10) nautical miles .In this area, the fishing boat which is build by traditional type with not more than 30 feet long or using less than a 25 HP engine power, operates for fishing. The fishing gears for using are driftnet, gillnet and long


In offshore fisheries, the offshore fishing vessels operate beyond from outer limit of the inshore fishing zone to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The fishing vessels are more than 30 feet long or using more than 25 HP engine operating in offshore area. In this area, the commercial fishing gears are trawl net, purse seine, and long line.


Management of Fisheries

Department of Fisheries ( DOF ) is responsible for the development of fishery sector of the Union of Myanmar and the responsibilities of DOF for development and management in fisheries are as follows;-

(1)Conservation and rehabilitation of fishery resources; (2)Promotion of fisheries researches and surveys;

(3)Collection and compilation of fishery statistics and information; (4)Extension services;

(5)Supervision of fishery sectors; (6)Sustainability of fishery resources;

 Main Factors Affecting in the Production of Fisheries

The conservation of fisheries resources and the maintenances o f ecological system are the main factors in the development of fisheries. Ecosystem of the world should be studied on the basis of their principle habitats for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Regarding the  maintenances of ecosystem in fisheries, the management of conservation in the freshwater bodies (ponds, lakes, rivers, dams) which provide good habitats for phytoplankton, zooplankton, including aquatic  plants and fishes and the conservation of marine  ecosystem approach in marine water and its habitats to numerous   plants, animals like zoo plankton, fishes, shrimps, oyster and so on., should also be studied as well. Moreover, the conservation of mangrove forest wetland and land-based ecosystem are substantial for development policy with a sustainable basis.


As we all know, mangrove are a source of shelters for fish. Many of coastal species spent the critical early stage of their lives in mangrove waters. So, the mangrove conservation is essential to save fisheries resources. Consequently, it ensures the sustainability of fisheries in the long term. Besides, the maintenance of ecological system is the conservation of reef and coral and declaration the marine protected areas (MPAs). It is the effective approach to improve the marine environment. The understanding of ecosystem function and its maintenance can help the development of fisheries in a sustainable manner.

 The weather conditions depend on the environment. Deforestation is one of the factors for destroying the natural environment. So the forest conservation is needed by everybody. In the fishery sector, another important thing is the prevention of the fish disease which has been a  difficult problem for fish-farmers. So, the sufficiency on the supply of good water quality is an essential matter.


 Moreover, The public awareness for environment is very important for the sustainable fisheries and the people should be educated about the environment not to do over fishing and degrading the environment which are harming them-selves. It is, because we are being a part of the complex network of its environment.




The Role of the Private Sector in Fisheries


 The role of the  private sector of fisheries in Myanmar is operated by private   entrepreneurs who can manage their business in their own ways in accordance with the rules and regulations which are laid down for them by the Government.


 Regarding on this matter, since 1988 Myanmar made some dramatic and radical  changes  in  social,  political,  and  economic  fronts.  From  that  time onward, the market oriented economic system has been adopted in Myanmar. Since then, all fishery business in Myanmar was carried out by the private sector. Consequently, all state owned infrastructure of  fishery sector such as, fishing vessels,  ice-plants,  processing  plants, cold  stores, fish-meal plants, canning plants etc. were sold out or leased to the private owners by the Government.




Legal Affairs


 There are four relevant fisheries laws promulgated by the Government  of Myanmar to  manage the fishery industry and to protect the fishery resources more efficiently.





Year enacted

Name of Fisheries Laws



Law relating to the fishing rights of foreign fishing vessels



Aquaculture Law



Myanmar Marine Fisheries Law



Freshwater Fisheries Law




After enacted these four fisheries law, the Government of Myanmar promulgated the two amending laws. These are as follows:-





Year enacted

Name of Amending Laws



Law amending the Myanmar Marine Fisheries







Law amending the  law relating to the fishing rights of  foreign fishing vessels




Among four existing fishery laws, have empowered Freshwater Fishery Law to respective regions and states authorities and combined Law Relating to the Fishing Rights of Foreign Fishing Vessels and Myanmar Marine Fishery Law and amending to Union Fishery Law (Draft). Also, amending draft of  Aquaculture Law for modernization.


Taking Action to the Illegal Harvest


 Department   of   Fisheries   manages   the   conservation   of   the   fishery resources. With regard to the conservation of the fisheries resources and to maintain for the long- term of the fisheries resources, DOF is managing to stop the illegal harvest for exporting such as  alive mud crab  (not allow to export which is (100) gram down weigh).


 Food Security for Myanmar


For food sufficiency of Myanmar people including living people in rural area, the plan of   implementation for food security were carried out by Department of Fisheries of Myanmar with the releasing fish fingerlings into natural resources such as lakes, dams, reservoirs, and open waters and the genetic improvement in rohu(Labeo rohita) to achieve the  purpose of getting more and more growth rate of fish and the increase of fish production of per acre in order to get more income by the fishers and fish farmers. Moreover, Department  of  Fisheries  has  initiated and  encouraged the  paddy cum fish farming in Myanmar. Since 2009, the Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock  and Irrigation  has been carried out the implementation of genetic improvement in Rohu (Labeo  rohita) with the short-term and long-term planning.


 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Marine Park and Marine Reserve


 Conservation  of  fisheries  resources  has  always  been  the  primary concern of the Department of Fisheries, so Marine Park and Marine Reserves as well as fisheries protected area have been established under the Fisheries Law of Myanmar. Lampi island of the Thanninthayi coast has been designated as Maine Park and Marine Reserve in 1996. And then, regarding the shark resources conservation, no-body can conduct shark fishing operation in the protected areas stretching from Rose” island to “ Lampi” island; so Mergui Archipelago is famous for their shark, ray, coral reefs and other marine creatures and that is why in this area shark-watching dive tours are very popular with the tourists, who come to Myanmar from around the world.



Sustainable development of fisheries sector for food security, improvement of the socio-economic of rural people and contribution to the economic development of the nation based on fisheries industry.



Ensuring  food  security,  food  safety  and  sustainable  development  of fisheries  sector  by  conservation  of  fisheries  resources  in  accordance  with  the fisheries laws.

Department of Fisheries

+49 555 000 000