A characterization of community fish refuge typologies in rice field fisheries ecosystems
- In rural Cambodia, fish is a source of food and income to millions of people. However, there has been a real threat to fish populations in natural wetlands due to the degradation of aquatic biodiversity and habitat, illegal fishing, increase of population and demand for fish, and the use of harmful pesticides for agriculture. The Rice Field Fisheries Enhancement Project (RFFEP) seeks to rebuild and protect the fish populations through innovative methods. The project works with communities to sustainably strengthen the rice field fisheries near their villages by improving protected habitats called "community fish refuges". This handbook characterizes rice field fisheries that are connected to community fish refuges. Community fish refuges are designated fish conservation areas promoted by the Fisheries Administration of the Royal Cambodian Government. It also examines the characteristics of rain-fed rice field ecosystems that are connected to community fish refuges in order to further refine descriptive criteria and better understand potential benefits and management strategies.