The Premium of Hilsa Sanctuary: A Socio-Economic and Ecological Evaluation from the Meghna Estuary, Bangladesh

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/346015

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Talukdar, A.; Schneider, P.; Begum, A.; Kawsar, M.A.; Sultana, M.A.; Sumon, T.A.; Nabi, M.R.-U.-.; Mozumder, M.M.H.; Shamsuzzaman, M.M. The Premium of Hilsa Sanctuary: A Socio-Economic and Ecological Evaluation from the Meghna Estuary, Bangladesh. Sustainability 2022, 14, 7782.

Title: The Premium of Hilsa Sanctuary: A Socio-Economic and Ecological Evaluation from the Meghna Estuary, Bangladesh
Author: Talukdar, Anuradha; Schneider, Petra; Begum, Amany; Kawsar, Md. Abu; Sultana, Mst. Armina; Sumon, Tofael Ahmed; Nabi, Md. Rashed-Un-; Mozumder, Mohammad Mojibul Hoque; Shamsuzzaman, Md. Mostafa
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2022-06-26
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/346015
Abstract: Sanctuaries are widely regarded as a protected area where fishing has been placed under some restrictions by local, state, regional and national authorities for the conservation and management of fisheries resources. These sanctuaries have a broad array of positive and negative social, economic, cultural and political impacts on fishers. This study aims to analyze the socio-economic and ecological benefits and costs of hilsa sanctuaries to protect single most important hilsa species using Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA). Under the Protection and Conservation of Fish Act of 1950, six sites along the Padma, Meghna, Tetulia, and Andharmanik rivers have been designated as hilsa sanctuaries. Findings of the current study revealed that most fishers perceived production of hilsa and other species were increased as a direct consequences of sanctuaries establishment. However, a considerable proportion of hilsa fishermen was found to have low socioeconomic capital, as measured by monthly income, housing circumstances and asset ownership. During the restricted fishing season in the sanctuaries, these households are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. The government’s compensation scheme is a good example of payment of ecosystem services in an open water fishery; however, this scheme does not include all the affected fishers. It is found that hilsa sanctuaries lead to income loss of the poor fishers which is insufficiently compensated by government support program. To compensate income loss, fishers resort illegal fishing which undermine the success of sanctuary. If the sanctuaries are to function effectively, affecting fishers must be addressed by offering enough compensation schemes so that fishers are able to support their families. Moreover, some fishers believed that a co-management approach involving fishers and government is the possible best management option for operating sanctuaries in a sustainable way.


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