Fishing Free Zones and community based natural resources management program established at Inle Lake

In September 2012 the Myanmar local NGO Friends of Wildlife (FoW) started establishing Fishing Free Zones – FFZs areas in Inle Lake as part of the conservation and rehabilitation project of Inle Lake with the goal to introduce sustainable fishery practices to the local community. The FFZs were established after engaging and approval with fisherman from villages around Inle lake including I DaungGyi village, Myaung Wa Gyi village, Sha Wagyi village, In Oo village, Si Thar village, Si Sone village, MaingThouk (Inn) village, Thale Oo(Inn) village, Mhay Ne Kone village, Min Chaung (north) village and Kye Sar All the fishing free zones selection is based on indigenous knowledge of local fisherman and secondary data from Department of Fishery. The locations of the FFZs are situated around the bird watching centre with a total of 1440 acres and around the bungalow in the middle of the lake and which comprises 303 acres. The main objective of the FFZs is to establish sustainable fish stocks in Inle Lake. With accordance of the local chairman and Village Conservation Group committee the FFZs are patrolled by local fisherman, Inle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary staff and FoW staff. The encroachers inside FFZs were taken action by individual decision for the villages.

A total of 7 orders, 15 families, 25 genera and 43 species of fishes have been recorded. Among them 16 species of fish are endemic to Inle Lake. However, trend of the fish population and density in Inle Lake is threatened under many pressures such as over use of pesticide, chemical fertilizer, tax dying waste and oil leak from boat engines. Therefore, local people are willing to establish FFZs after discussion with FOW for sustainability of fish in Inle Lake.

Press release by Nay MyoShwe (Project Officer, Friends of Wildlife/ Indo Myanmar Conservation)

6th May 2013


Above: Fishery community meeting at Kye Sar village before the establishment of the FFZs at Inle Lake
Above: The border of the FFZs are marked with red colored, anchored buoys with ‘fishing free zones' written on them and red and white bamboo poles that can be seen from the far

About the project ‘Inle lake Wildlife Sanctuary'

The Inle lake Wildlife Sanctuary project was established in July 2012 by the Friends of Wildlife, a local NGO in Myanmar working closely together with Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC). The main objective of the project is to carry out conservation activities at the Inle Lake and to ensure its sustainability in terms of biodiversity and ecological processes. FOW also introduced sustainable fishing practices to the local communities around Inle Lake, established a fishing-free zone within the lake and encourages locals to keep the lake clean and healthy. This conservation and rehabilitation project is led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Thank you

FOW would like to thank the Department of Fishery from N yaung Shwe Township, Inle Lake Widllfie Sanctuary staff and local authorities for the FFZs program.

FOW would also like to thank the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nation Development Program- UNDP Myanmar for funding this conservation activity.

For more information about the INLE Lake conservation project or Indo-Myanmar Conservation please contact

Mr. Nay Myo Shwe – Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC)

No. 13, Building 22, Shwe-ohn-pin Housing, Yankin, Yangon