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Prawn postlarvae fishing in coastal Bangladesh: Challenges for sustainable livelihoods

Nesar Ahmed, Max Troell, Edward H. Allison, James F. Muir Marine Policy 34 (2010) 218–227


Fishing for prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) postlarvae is a major contributor to the livelihoods of the coastal poor in Bangladesh, including women. A study of coastal livelihoods along the lower Pasur River in southwest Bangladesh indicates that on average 40% of total annual income comes from postlarvae fishing during the few months involved. However, indiscriminate fishing of wild postlarvae, with high levels of by-catch, has an impact on biodiversity in coastal ecosystems. This has provoked imposition of restrictions on postlarvae collection. The ban has, however, not been firmly enforced because of the lack of alternative livelihoods for coastal poor. A conceptual framework, drawn from an approach to poverty reduction known as the sustainable livelihoods approach, is applied to understanding the role of prawn postlarvae fishing. Evidence from this study suggests that postlarvae fishers faced a number of livelihood constraints, including poor livelihood assets. This paper concludes that wider livelihood options need to be found for postlarvae fishers to support their livelihoods.

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Keywords: Livelihoods, Prawn, Postlarvae, Coastal, Fishers, Bangladesh

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