Research evidence and CBO learning found that fishery conservation (sanctuaries, closed seasons, etc) has restored fish species diversity and catches, even in closed waterbodies. As many households catch fish for food or income this translated into increased incomes for fishing households and improved food security in general.

During 2007-2009 56% of participating CBOs took a range of funded actions to improve fisheries management with support through the adaptive learning process.

Fish sanctuaries have been found by CBOs to be beneficial in all types of waterbody and management system, including closed beels. Fish sanctuaries in part of a waterbody (the average for participating CBOs is 6% of dry season water area) are associated with increases in species diversity, restoration of locally rare species, and increases in catch per unit effort. Fishers recommend that branches from Shaora, Hijol, Tetul, Mango and Babla trees are best for sanctuaries and those of Nim, Sajna, Jiga and Akashmoni should be avoided.


New sanctuary in Porakhali Baor, Jessore (SW)

CBOs in closed beels (baors) that added sanctuaries through adaptive learning reported that species diversity of native fishes that can reproduce in the baors was low before sanctuaries were established (averaging 7-8 species year round), but with sanctuaries increased during the monsoon and post monsoon to 14 species.

In addition 11 CBOs tried re-introduction of rare/locally extinct fishes.
Modifying sluice management so that it is “fish friendly” – for example opening in the early monsoon so that fish can migrate when water levels start to rise, has been attempted by several CBOs although the impacts are hard to assess.



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