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Facilitating Change: A Mekong Vietnamese Small-Scale Fishing Community

  • Kim Anh Thi NguyenEmail author
  • Ola Flaaten
Chapter

Abstract

As one of the poor provinces in the Mekong Delta, Ben Tre has the three poorest coastal districts, namely Binh Dai, Ba Tri, and Thanh Phu. Thanh Phong is one of the 18 communes of Thanh Phu. The objectives of this chapter are: (1) to understand poverty and discover its causes among the poor fishers in Thanh Phong; (2) to evaluate the insufficiency of poverty-alleviating policies for small-scale fisheries in Thanh Phong; (3) to suggest tailored solutions and poverty-alleviating policies for Thanh Phong. Currently, Thanh Phong has a community of 56 fishing households making a living from small-scale fisheries. Illegal fishing gear is still being used, like “day-mung” nets with a very small (1–1.5 mm) mesh size. With small-scale boats and simple fishing tools, the productivity as well as the commercial value of the fish caught are very low. There is awareness among the households that inshore fisheries’ resources are limited, and that their illegal practices are exhausting the resources. However, the dependence on fisheries’ resources and the absence of alternative incomes force people to use destructive kinds of fishing gears. As a consequence, the vast majority of the poor fishers in Thanh Phong have to face livelihood uncertainty and the threat of increasing poverty. Compared with the poverty line adopted by the government of Vietnam, the poverty rate of 12.7% in 2008 is considered high, and the rate of 13.3% in 2009 is a signal of poverty persistence. Government ­support is needed to combat poverty, including upgrading the infrastructure and assisting in creation of alternative jobs and better education.

Keywords

Fishing Community Poor Household Poverty Reduction Poverty Alleviation Fishing Gear 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

First, we would very much like to offer our sincere thanks to the staff of Ben Tre Provincial People’s Committee, Thanh Phong Communal People’s Committee, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Additionally, we extend our thanks to members of the Women’s Association, the Farmers’ Association, the Fishermen’s Association of Thanh Phu district; and the 56 fishing households in the Thanh Phong community who enthusiastically supported us, exchanged ideas, and participated in local meetings and workshops. The chapter has benefited from the insights and comments of all of them. Next, we must acknowledge the Norwegian Research Council for the financial support of the PovFish project and the kind support and encouragement from the PovFish team. We would also like to thank our students from Nha Trang University who have completed their theses funded by the PovFish project, and have contributed three research cases on poverty measurement in the Thanh Phong fishing community, Bich Dam Island, and Nha Phu Bay, to help us gain a comprehensive view of poverty-related issues in small-scale fisheries in Vietnam.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nha Trang UniversityNha TrangVietnam
  2. 2.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

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