Oral Presentation International Conference on River Connectivity (Fish Passage 2018)

Determining Migration Corridors and Lifecycle cues for Key Commercial, Subsistence and Conservation Freshwater Fish in Myanmar. (#125)

Htun Thein 1 , John Conallin 2 , Zau Lunn 3 , Maung Maung Lwin 1 , Lee Baumgartner 2 , Nyein Chan 3
  1. Research Division, Myanmar Department of Fisheries, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
  2. Institute for Land Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW, Australia
  3. Fauna and Flora International, Yangon, Myanmar

The fisheries sector plays a vital role in the culture and socio-economic life of Myanmar. Traditionally Myanmar people prefer freshwater fish to marine fish. Fish is one of the most important sources of animal protein and micronutrients in Myanmar with average consumption levels estimated to be approximately 30 kg/person/year, second only to rice. Migratory fish make up an important component of the inland capture fisheries. Little is known about the migration patterns of any of the inland fish species. In the north there are cold water species and anecdotal evidence from fishers and fisheries catch data suggest that these fish take long distance movements to the edge of their water temperature ranges. Species like Hilsa Shad, one of the most economically important fish in the whole of the Bay of Bengal are a known to be anadromous, and have been recorded in freshwater sections of the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar, but little is known about it from a management and infrastructure sense. In addition to anadromous and potradomous river species, there are many river/wetland species that migrate into and out of wetlands during the wet and dry seasons. These wetland migrators make up a significant proportion of the inland catch, but also act as the main source of protein and micronutirents to inland people, especially the poorer regions. Infrastructure development for rice and power generation would be affecting these species, but how is not well studied. To fill some of these knowledge gaps to improve management for these species, Myanmar Department of Fisheries is working with local and international organisations on research projects to improve our understanding of the migratory species within Myanmar and they are presented in these projects are presented in this talk.